Young Americans still reading paper books, going to library


It seems like every other week there's a story circulating about how young people aren't picking up paper books any more and the future of libraries is in doubt because fewer people are using them. Well, a new study released by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., points to an interesting trend: Americans aged 16 to 29 actually read print books more than older folks and more of them have visited a library in the past year.

Now, the library use makes sense, as the quiet spaces and ample research resources available to student-age individuals ought to entice them to visit once in a while. And the difference isn't substantial -- of the young Americans surveyed, 67 per cent had visited a library in the past year, compared to 62 per cent of adults aged 30 or over. However, young people are much more likely to use internet services at the library (38 per cent compared to 22 per cent), and are more likely to visit a library website (48 per cent compared to 36 per cent).

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As for their consumption of bound books, 75 per cent of young Americans read at least one book in print this past year, compared with 64 per cent of adults 30 or over. The younger people surveyed are increasingly gravitating towards e-books (25 per cent read at least one e-book in the past year, compared to 19 per cent in 2011), but their consumption of print books has remained steady since 2011.