College students continued to up their usage of e-readers, but most still prefer print textbooks, a new research report conducted in March by OnCampus Research, the research division of the National Association of College Stores, found. The survey of 655 students found a 6% increase in e-book purchases in March compared to a study conducted in October, and more students were reading materials on dedicated reading devices while fewer were using laptops or netbooks. While only 15% of students said they owned an e-reader, 39% reported that they use one, up from 19% in the October study. The number of students owning a dedicated reader in October was 8%.

Student e-reader preferences mirrored those of consumers in general with 52% of students who own a dedicated reader choosing a Kindle, followed by the Nook (21%), iPhone (17%), and iPad (10%). Students interested in purchasing a new e-reader are most interested in the iPad and Kindle (both 27%), followed by the Nook.

Despite the higher interest in digital readers, 75% of the college students in the March 2011 survey said that, if the choice was entirely theirs, they would select a print textbook. This is similar to the findings of the October 2010 e-reader survey, as well as one done in the fall of 2008.

Photo: Ed Yourdon, via Flickr.