Bowker’s PubTrack Consumer Survey has reported that young adults may not be avid ebook fans.  Here’s a snipped from paidContent:

Sixty-six percent of 13- to 17-year olds say they prefer print books to e-books, 26 percent say they have no preference and only 8 percent prefer e-books.
» One reason for this resistance: Teens like using social technology to discuss and share things with their friends, and e-books at this point are not a social technology. An increasing number of teens surveyed says there are too many restrictions on using e-books: 14 percent said so in 2011, compared to 6 percent in 2010.
» Don’t be misled by YA books like the Hunger Games trilogy on e-book bestseller lists: Adults make up a huge part of the audience for YA books. Thirty- to 44-year-olds account for 28 percent of YA print book sales and 32 percent of YA e-book sales. Eighteen- to 29-year-olds are the largest group of YA book buyers, accounting for 31 percent of YA print sales and 35 percent of YA e-book sales.
» Teens (like other age groups) say the major barrier against reading on mobile devices is the size of the screen.
» Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) products are teens’ “format of choice”; the most-owned device by teens surveyed was the iPod Touch, followed by iPhone and iPad.
» Sixty percent of teens reported that their parents handed technology down to them, so surveys conducted after the holidays may show more teenagers owning e-readers (if their parents got new ones for Christmas).
» Since teens are online so much, that is a great place for publishers to reach them: Teens are more likely to discover a book they purchase via a social network than any other age group.

Check out the full article to find out what the survey says about the 0-12 age group.


  1. Theft’s also an issue. In most cases ebook readers are worth far more than books. That hits teens and college students particularly hard.

    1. Affluent adults tend to move in circles where theft is less common. Theft is schools is very bad. In Seattle, the worst place I’ve found for having something snitched is at the University of Washington.

    2. An adult who has his iPad stolen will only blame himself. A teen who gets robbed will have dad, mom and perhaps his siblings (if the iPad is shared), all over him for “being so stupid.”

    I also don’t buy the claims of those who see ‘old fogies’ as resistant to changes that the young embrace easily. Every age group has preferences that determine which new thing they like and which they ignore. The first adopters for ebook readers seem to have been married, settled down women who like to read a lot of fiction and biography in their free time. Teens read little outside school assignments, so they have less reason to get a Kindle.

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