E-books and e-readers may be making headlines off campus, but a new study by OnCampus Research, a division of the National Association of College Stores, reaffirmed last fall’s OnCampus Student Watch study that 74% of college students prefer print. According to the study taken by 627 college students earlier this month, only 13% purchased an e-book within the past three months. And just over half, or 56%, did so because it was required for class.
“It seems like the death of the printed book, at least on campus, has been greatly exaggerated, and that dedicated e-readers have a way to go before they catch on with this demographic,” says Elizabeth Riddle, manager of OnCampus Research. “The college-age market is definitely a growth opportunity for companies providing digital education products.”
Nor did dedicated e-readers fare significantly better on campus. Only 8% of college students own a dedicated e-reading device, and 59% of students who don't own a device have no plans to purchase one anytime soon, i.e. within the next three months. Of those who did buy an e-book, the overwhelming majority, approximately 77%, read it on a laptop or Netbook. Currently the iPhone is the e-reader of choice with 23.9%, followed by the Nook at 21.6%. Nearly 15.7% read on the Kindle DX and the same number use the Kindle 3. Although 26% expressed interest in purchasing an iPad, only 13.7% own one, roughly the same percentage as the Sony Pocket reader.