If recent research is any indication, young people are far more interested and invested in print books than in their digital counterparts. In fact, “the 16-24 generation is still firmly in favor of print books, new research shows, with 73% saying they prefer print over digital or audio formats Charlotte Eyre in The Bookseller.
The results of the UK survey echo similar research in the US and elsewhere that shows a clear preference among young people for print. Some of the reasons include the perceived value of print, an especially relevant point since 81% of the respondents said they use their own money to buy books.
“In our research, 70% said that £6.99 was a reasonable price to pay for a paperback but only 10% were prepared to pay the same for an e-book,” noted Luke Mitchell of Voxburner.
Some of the young adults surveyed said they prefer the tactile experience of a book (“They told us they like to touch books and see the creases in the spine”) and don’t hold the value of the digital edition in the same esteem.
Aside from the tactile benefits of print, other considerations likely come into play in the decision.
One study from the world of higher education shows that college students perfer text books over their digital counterparts, possibly because print leads to better recall and comprehension. And students who take notes on a keyboard have worse recall than those who write them out in longhand.
For emotional and cognitive reasons, print has the edge over digital books for the younger generation. It’s great news for our industry, and something that brands looking to engage their up and coming consumers would be wise to note.