It's just as I thought! Millennials prefer paper books to e-books...but not by much. But this is a topic people feel passionate about--we got lots of comments.
To celebrate the publication of our feature on the emerging market of Millennial readers, we asked our social media friends whether they--if they themselves are Millennials--or the Millennials in their lives read e-books. It has been my experience that the Millennials I've polled won't touch e-books with a ten-inch tablet, though they love the digitization of most of the rest of their lives.
There's just something...special about those paper books. That's what most of the PW readers who responded this week had to say:
"I'm a millenial and I'm all about the physical book. I love owning books that I can pick up and look at, and I guess you could say I collect them. I enjoy having a physical library. I use a computer enough for work and as a writer/blogger, so the last thing I want is even more screen time while reading." -Jenna Miller, PublishersWeekly.com
"Both of my millennials want the paper copies of all their books- and one, he only wants hard backs!" -Terise Ryan, Facebook
"Paper for me, and paper for my 14 year old daughter!" - Meg Skinner Jackson, Facebook
A few readers prefer print for pleasure, but e-books for school:
"For fiction or any kind of pleasure reading, I prefer paper books. I don't have to worry about screen brightness and sand on the beach...if I drop it or shove it haphazardly into my purse, it's fine, and I have something real to hold in my hand...as a grad student, I am 100% in favor of ebooks for textbooks. Being able to have my textbooks available at work or at home without having to carry them back and forth is invaluable, as is the ability to search the text for key phrases or vocabulary." -Jessica Leigh Buckridge, Facebook
But not this reader:
"While in graduate school I had an instructor who urged us to buy e-books but I hated the idea. Paper books for me!" -Jane Meyers, Facebook
Some Millennials do, of course, prefer e-books. My only question for this reader, though, is whether he can detect an "e-book smell":
"I can't even imagine going back to reading print books now. I read mostly on my phone or tablet and take my library with me wherever I go. As for the "smell" of a print book. I think that's highly overstated by people who never actually read an e-book before." -Ryan Field, PublishersWeekly.com
Finally, though, the most inspiring responses were from readers who don't care to pick a side--they just love reading, no matter the delivery method:
"I read both. I got a Kindle while I was an undergrad because the Kindle weighs about 2 ounces and the Norton anthology weighs a metric ton. Who cares what we're reading on so long as we're reading?" -Jessica Miller, PublishersWeekly.com