As the summer holidays come to an end, research conducted by Heathrow Airport has shown that 71% of travelers would rather pack their suitcases full of books than opt for a lightweight eReader. Books fare far better around sunscreen, swimming pools and sand, but our love of a good paperback goes deeper – 67% said they prefer to stick with print because they enjoy the feel of a real book in their hands. Over 1 in 10 (12%) want to leave technology behind altogether whilst abroad.
Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 67% said they turn to friends and family for their reading recommendations, closely followed by librarians and book-sellers (22%). Auto-generated online suggestions were found to be least helpful – 33% felt that the recommendations were too stereotyped, and 15% argued that they were just plain dull.
Heathrow Airport Retail Director Muriel Zingraff-Shariff said: “There’s no doubt that the popularity of eBooks has boomed in recent years, but when it comes to relaxing on holiday it seems you just can’t beat a good book. People want a break from technology whilst they’re abroad, so it’s understandable that people would rather swap their Blackberry for Malorie Blackman.”
Simon Smith, Managing Director at WH Smith Travel said: “Books remain a valuable part of people’s holiday experience. Our stores at Heathrow are always popular with customers and we’re delighted to continue to offer a great range of bestselling titles, airport exclusives and fantastic promotions to the 70 million passengers who fly through the airport each year.”
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.