Saturday, January 25, 2014

A survey by any other name?

The Pew Research Group recently released the results of their study of reading habits of Americans. The Pew post was headlined "E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps." The first sentence of their overview pretty much sums up the results: "The proportion of Americans who read e-books is growing, but few have completely replaced print books for electronic versions."

The study got a lot of web coverage, but interestingly, the same study produced many different headlines:

Just Four Percent of Americans Read eBooks Only (Motherboard)

eBooks surge as devices multiply but print holds firm (NBC)

In this age of ebooks, print still alive (Des Moines Register)

Americans prefer print over ebooks (PBS)

Pew, Princeton study shows e-reading up (Teleread)

eReading is Risng But It's Not Replacing Print, Pew Research (Galleycat)

Headlines are, of course, meant to grab the reader's attention, but it is interesting to me that these headlines are so different, with the Motherboard one giving only a single stat, the PBS headline flatly ignoring the increase in e-reading, and the Teleread headline ignoring any preference for print. Of course, all of them have more info in the posts than in the headlines

I find it interesting that the Des Moines Register calls today "the age of ebooks." Personally, I think the real age of ebooks will start in 10 to 20 years from now. Until then I agree that print is still going to be necessary for true sweeping success, which is why, as I said in my last post, I plan to move to print and ebook publishing.

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