November 29, 2015

New Study Uncovers Surprising Results of eBook & Printed Books Trends

Here’s a new white paper that was commissioned by Ricoh.

Research from IT Strategies, a consulting firm and performed in conjunction with the University of Colorado.

It was released yesterday and athough its target audience is the printing industry we thought it might be of interest to some infoDOCKET readers.

The white paper/report is titled, The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers (24 pages; PDF).

Key Findings

Nearly 70 percent of consumers feel it is unlikely that they will give up on printed books by 2016.  Consumers have an emotional and visceral/sensory attachment to printed books, potentially elevating them to a luxury item.

Despite their perceived popularity, 60% of eBooks downloaded are never read in the US.  Since 2012, the growth of eBooks has slowed significantly as dedicated eReader sales are declining, and tablet PC devices are increasingly becoming utilized for other forms of entertainment.

College students prefer printed textbooks to eBooks as they help students to concentrate on the subject matter at hand; electronic display devices such as tablet PCs tempt students to distraction.

Current trends reveal that while fewer copies of books are being sold, more titles are being published.

The top three reasons consumers choose a printed book are: Lack of eye strain when reading from paper copy vs. an eBook; the look and feel of paper, and the ability to add it to a library or bookshelf.

The study surveyed more than 800 respondents, with the following demographic profile:

  • Gender: 55% female, 45% male
  • Average age: 39 years old
  • Education
    • 0.2% have not completed high school (1 respondent)
    • 36% have a high school degree
    • 49% have an undergraduate degree
    • 15% have a graduate or higher degree

The report includes a number of charts. Here’s one of them.

Direct to Full Text Report (24 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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