Luddites rejoice! Americans still prefer printed books

The printed book remains the popular choice for readers over their digital counterparts, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

In the past year, 65 percent of U.S. adults surveyed said they read a book in its printed form. 28 percent of people said they read an e-book over the same period, while 14 percent said they listened to an audio book.

The study also found the amount of adults who read a book in any format — traditional or electronic — rose to 73 percent in 2016 from 72 percent in 2015. The rate of Americans who read a book in a year’s time has remained consistent in the past few years. In 2012, 74 percent said they read a book.

The 28 percent of Americans who read an e-book has hovered around the same rate the past two years, despite a 11 percent spike in e-book readership between 2011 and 2014, Pew said.

Pew’s results stemmed from a survey of more than 1,500 U.S. adults over a 12-month period.

The study also pointed to changing habits in how adults consume e-books — it found that Americans have opted for a tablet computer or smartphone, instead of an e-reader, to read books. In 2016, 15 percent said they used a tablet to read a book in the past year, up from 4 percent in 2011. As for cellphones, that number rose to 13 percent in 2016, compared with 5 percent in 2011.

But how many readers are format purists?

According to Pew, 38 percent said they only consumed printed books, while much fewer — 6 percent — said they only read books in a digital format. But 28 percent said they read books in both print and digital formats, including e-books and audio books.

Maybe “Infinite Jest” will be easier to finish if I read it on a smartphone?

READ MORE: Have you read the 200 ‘best American novels’?

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