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Poll results: People still love print books but many also read digital/audio books for convenience

I read books in all formats: print, digital and audio. If the story is good, I’ll read in any format. I got curious about whether other people felt the same way, so I recently posted a one-question poll asking:

“In the past year, how have you read books? Check all that apply.”

424 people responded. I opted for a multiple choice rather than “which do you prefer” for this poll to cut out the need to decide on a preference, plus it gets complicated because I would need to include different categories of reading; someone may prefer picture books in print, for example, but opt for a digital version of a novel for older readers.

So I let you check as many formats as you’d like. Here’s what you said:

98% of you said you read at least one print book in the past year. 

61% of you said you read digital books on your tablet or Kindle. Some of you added a comment that you read ebooks on your phone.

43% of you said you listened to audiobooks.

19% of you said that you read digital books on your computer. 

I also had a comment field for those who had more to say.


Almost everyone said they had read at least one print book in the past year (as opposed to digital). Some of you gave reasons why you enjoy or prefer print books, and these included:

– Enjoying the physical sensation of holding a print book, turning pages, etc.

– Print books can be more easily shared.

– Print books can be put in the classroom and library for silent reading.

– Special edition, collector’s edition, autographed.

– Technical books where tables and charts don’t easily transfer to an e-reader.

– Easier to read longform text in print than on a screen. (Interestingly, some of you said it was easier to read longform text in digital format; see below.) One of you said you printed out PDFs of public domain books.


While many of you said you preferred reading print books (see reasons above), quite a few of you said you also read digital books. Reasons given include:

– Easier to travel with digital books.

– Instant gratification when it comes to buying.

– Easier to read (don’t have to turn on reading light, can enlarge the print).

– Takes up less space at home.

– Cheaper.

A few comments:

“I adore physical books, they’ll always be my preference. I think the cover design and feel of a book can’t be beaten. But sometimes the convenience of e-books wins ie my recent holiday, in which I knew I’d read a lot, and actual books would have filled my already bulging case.” – @BookMonsterAlly

“I only buy print picture books and we listen to a ton of audio. If I am reading a new release that’s adult or ya, I will sometimes go with the ebook because it is quicker and cheaper. I will buy it in print if it is particularly special to me. :)” – @mvp1972

“Books are memories bound in paper to me. Not just stories. I can’t bring myself to read them digitally. I need to keep them on my shelf so I remember.” – @bethnavarro76

“I have read in all kinds of formats and on different devices, but I still prefer print. The others are all about opportunity…it’s easier to read on my ereader when I can’t sleep at night – plus it’s nice to pack because I can take so many books with me. I love my phone because I can easily and quickly access library titles and listen to audiobooks on it (making road trips – especially solo road trips – more appealing).” – @cbethm

“I prefer reading “real books”, but the Kindle allows me to read at night without worrying about the size of the book and without having to turn on the lights (I have a paper white Kindle)” – @santiagocasares

“I like the smell and feel of paper books. Audio books are ok, but with 2 little ones I have less time for them than paper books. Also I read much faster than an audiobook could, so I prefer paper. Not a fan of eBooks but love that more people read using these. I think they are best for nonfiction. Especially nonfiction that has information that changes from year to year.” – @daniduck

“I own a Kobo and occasionally read short ebooks on the computer, but for business, never for pleasure. The reading experience isn’t very satisfactory. Jean-Luc Picard always kept a book in his ready room. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. :P” – @heathermoconnor

“I will always treasure real paper and ink books more than those of the digital kind. A real book is like comfort food. It reminds you of childhood and it is so much like a present that gets opened every time you go back to it. Perhaps this has to do with belonging to an older generation. I am not sure. Younger people who are digital natives might have a different opinion. This is a great question.” – Anonymous

Miscelleous Note Of Interest:

According to Typeform’s stats for the survey, 55% of you answered the poll from your smartphones, 32% from PCs and laptops and 13% from tablets.

Thanks again to all those who responded! Feel free to browse more results from past Inkygirlsurveys and polls.

Tags: Inkygirl, Surveys