Printed Books are Preferred by U.S. Adults

When was the last time you read a book? According to recent findings from the Pew Research Center, chances are, you’ve read a book in the past year. The Pew Research Center conducted a deep dive into the reading habits of U.S. adults in 2021. The ebooks vs printed books debate was a point of discussion in this research, although findings concluded that physical books took the win over e-books. Reading also displayed its popularity among young demographics and college graduates.

The Resilience of Print

When 2021 results were compared to 2011 results, reading and print proved their resilience. With the variety of options available for entertainment consumption in 2021, 75% of U.S. adults still turned to a good book. This is only 3% less than adults who claimed to have read a book in 2011.

So, what does this mean? The percent of adults who have read a book in the past year is only 3% less than adults who claimed to have read a book in 2011. There have been so many changes throughout the past decade from social trends to technology and with these changes, many industries have lost their footing with consumers. The printing world is happy to report that print books have survived extreme technological advances and plan to be a prevalent part of American’s everyday lives in the future.

Print Appeals to Young Generations

While it’s easy to assume that print is losing its popularity with younger generations, given the technology advancements younger generations have grown reliant on, this is not the case. Students consider physical books to be an escape from the internet. Printed textbooks also have been credited as the most effective learning medium for students. According to the Pew Research Center, U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 29 were more likely to read a printed book than any other age demographic.

As you can see, the headline released by the Pew Research Center for this chart reads “College graduates especially likely to say they read books in any format.” There are 99.5 million college graduates in the U.S., according to 2021 education data. If you look in the second column above, you can see percentages of surveyors who have read a print book in the past 12 months; note that 80% of college graduates said yes, they’ve read a print book in the past 12 months. This means that college grads are the most likely to read in general and when they chose to read, they’re picking up a physical book.

Readers are Loyal to Print Books

One of the most important conclusions drawn from this survey is that a 65% of American adults have read a printed book in the past year. Out of the U.S. adults that have read a book in the past year, 49% only read paper books.

What are the benefits of reading a printed book?

A physical book is a great alternative to an ebook for personal and educational reading. The benefits of reading a physical book are increased absorption and better reading comprehension. Students of all ages, from elementary school to college, tend to absorb more when they are reading from paper than from screens, particularly when it comes to nonfiction material. When reading ebooks, book readers are more likely to skim texts, which can lead to lower retention. When using textbooks, book readers often associate information with the layout of the page and location within the book, which assists them in reading comprehension texts. Concerning the argument of ebooks vs printed books, printed books prove to be highly beneficial for learning.

The BR Difference

Whether you’re a book lover, publisher, paper supplier, or printer, it’s important to know that Americans of all demographics are reading printed books. At BR Printers, our short, mid-range, and long-run book production capabilities provide the quality and flexibility you need to efficiently and cost-effectively reach your reading audience.

Does your business have printing needs other than book printing? We offer a variety of printing solutions such as direct mail and labels. Learn more about our quality printing and marketing solutions. Get in touch with us today.