New survey reveals undying love for print books

The physical book is still the king, with its kingship position remaining unscathed even after the advent of e-books and audiobooks and all the benefits the latter two have to offer. This has been proven, perhaps for the umpteenth time, in a recent survey conducted by paper producer, Stora Enso that revealed an impressive 65 percent prefer the physical book. In comparison, as the website WhatTheyThink reported, 21 percent said they prefer e-books while 14 percent went for audiobooks.

The survey covered 2,400 book readers in the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom and included those from all age groups. They said they preferred print books for their looks and the feel it offered. Many also said they simply love the smell of print books as well. Also, among all those polled, it is the French readers who seem to have the strongest affinity for physical books, with fiction books being their top favorite.

However, what has surprised many is that among the younger generation in the 16 to 24 age bracket, an overwhelming 70 percent said they prefer physical books over their digital counterparts, this when it’s just the opposite that was expected of them. This could be largely due to the demand for manga books as well as the teen romance books that have seen a spike in demand in recent times.

The older readers meanwhile seemed more inclined toward books dealing with the human mind or human potential. This can be attributed to the recent pandemic when most were forced to stay indoors. This might have proved to be the most opportune moment for these people to delve within them and uncover their hidden potential. That said, the pandemic was also the time when most parts of the world had seemingly hit the pause button and everything came to a halt.

So, while people had access to physical books cut off, either from the library or bookstores, again either physical or online, most had taken to reading e-books during the time. That was perhaps the only time the e-books outsold print books though that was short-lived given that print books made a stupendous comeback once the pandemic started to cease.

That said, as the survey also revealed, many claimed they were more inclined to read physical books during the pandemic as they loathed continuing to stare at a screen even for reading books after doing the same all day, be it for study or work. A majority, 63 percent of the respondents said they read more during the pandemic. That includes 70 percent in the US and the UK. Further, 64 percent of the youths, 76 percent in the US and 73 percent in the UK said they took to more reading during the pandemic.

Carbon neutrality is another factor that many said they paid heed to when procuring a book. A majority of 61 percent of the respondents and an even higher 70 percent of the youths said they are willing to pay more for buying carbon-neutral books.

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