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ERIC Number: ED537514
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct-23
Pages: 57
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Younger Americans' Reading and Library Habits
Zickuhr, Kathryn; Rainie, Lee; Purcell, Kristen; Madden, Mary; Brenner, Joanna
Pew Internet & American Life Project
More than eight in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. At the youngest end of the spectrum, high schoolers in their late teens (ages 16-17) and college-aged young adults (ages 18-24) are especially likely to have read a book or used the library in the past 12 months. And although their library usage patterns may often be influenced by the requirements of school assignments, their interest in the possibilities of mobile technology may also point the way toward opportunities of further engagement with libraries later in life. The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has taken a special look at readers between the ages of 16 and 29 because interest in them is especially high in the library world and the publishing world. This report examines how they encounter and consume books in different formats. It flows out of a larger effort to assess the reading habits of all Americans ages 16 and older as e-books change the reading landscape and the borrowing services of libraries. The main findings in this report, including all statistics and quantitative data, are from a nationally-representative phone survey of 2,986 people ages 16 and older that was administered from November 16-December 21, 2011. This report also contains the voices and insights of an online panel of library patrons ages 16-29 who borrow e-books, fielded in the spring of 2012. Among the main findings: (1) 83% of Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year; (2) Among Americans who read e-books, those under age 30 are more likely to read their e-books on a cell phone (41%) or computer (55%) than on an e-book reader such as a Kindle (23%) or tablet (16%); (3) Overall, 47% of younger Americans read long-form e-content such as books, magazines or newspapers; (4) 60% of Americans under age 30 used the library in the past year; (5) Many of these young readers do not know they can borrow an e-book from a library, and a majority of them express the wish they could do so on pre-loaded e-readers; (6) High schoolers (ages 16-17) are especially reliant on the library for their reading and research needs; (7) College-aged adults (ages 18-24) show interesting shifts in their reading habits compared with high schoolers (ages 16-17); and (8) Adults in their late twenties (ages 25-29) exhibit different patterns when compared with younger age groups. (Contains 2 tables and 22 footnotes.)
Pew Internet & American Life Project. 1615 L Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-419-4500; Fax: 202-419-4505; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Pew Internet & American Life Project