Readers, E-readers, and Listeners

An author in an online group I visit did an informal survey to discover reading habits, and it was interesting to me. I don't recall specific numbers, but here's the gist of it.

Most people who read still read print books. The percentage was in the 90s.
Many people read e-books in addition to print. I think that was 67% of her responders, and that's where I fall too.
Some listen to audiobooks as well. That was twenty-something percent. I haven't joined that crowd yet, mostly because I'm a fast reader and I don't like waiting for someone to read to me.

The author's respondents were about the same demographic as my readers: mostly women, mostly over 40, mostly lovers of  the mystery genre.

I haven't done any research, but I'd agree with those results just from talking to many, many readers over the last few years. We like print books, but some of us find them heavy or hard to manage as our hands get arthritic. It's sometimes hard to take them where we go, and the print isn't always the size we need. We like e-books because they're easy to take along when we travel, let us choose the font size, and are sometimes more convenient than a book. For example, I like the e-reader for night-time reading, because I usually lie on my side to read in bed and it's hard to hold a book open in that position.

Those who listen to books often have specific times when audiobooks are most convenient: riding in the car or on the subway, exercising, or (in the case of at least one friend) at work, in order to block out the asinine conversations of her coworkers!

It disturbs me to hear people say, "I want a real book in my hands," or "You need to get with the digital age," if they make it sound like anyone who chooses differently is just WRONG. We shouldn't argue about what's "better" or worry that "real" books are going to go away. As long as you're getting the stories you love, the method shouldn't matter.

If you are an audiobook person, here's my little spiel for the day: MURDER IN THE BOONIES should be available within days, according to Audible, so watch for it!


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