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Younger Americans still opening the books

Published: Wednesday, July 1 2015 11:22 p.m. MDT

A recent study found that eight of 10 young people are reading, compared to six of 10 adults, according to Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. (Shutterstock.com) A recent study found that eight of 10 young people are reading, compared to six of 10 adults, according to Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. (Shutterstock.com)

When teens pull out their cell phone it might be to read an e-book instead of a text. According to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 41 percent of those under 30 years old are reading e-books on their cell phone.

The report was conducted to help the library and publishing world discover evolving literacy habits of those 16 to 29 years old, according to the report.

"According to our December 2011 national survey, Americans under age 30 are more likely than older adults to do reading of any sort (including books, magazines, journals, newspapers and online content) for work or school or to satisfy their own curiosity on a topic," said the report.

Pew reported eight of 10 young people are reading, compared to six of 10 adults. Library usage hasn't diminished either as six in 10 of those younger than 30 have used their local library.

Some 76 percent of those in the group read for pleasure, following closely behind adults who were at 81 percent.

E-book reading and listening to audio books still isn't the popular choice for 16- to 29-year olds. Only 19 percent read an e-book, 11 percent listened to an audiobook, and 75 percent read a book in print.

"We heard from e-book readers in general how they don't want e-books to replace print books," Kathryn Zickuher, the main author of the study, told David Greene in an NPR interview about the study. "E-books supplement their general reading habits. We heard from a lot of younger e-book readers about how they can read when they're waiting in line for class or waiting in line for lunch."

As for libraries, many of them are evolving to keep the interest of the younger readers.

"We found that they're very interested in the idea of preloaded e-readers — being able to check out an e-reader at a library that already has some popular titles on it," Zickuher said in the interview. "Some libraries even have sort of diner-style booths for the teens where they can just socialize and hang out, and so that they can think of the library as a space of their own."

Email: ehong@desnews.com Twitter: @erinhong

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