In the last ten years we have seen a dramatic shift from exclusively reading the print editions of books to the e-book. e-Readers, smartphones and tablets have all gained mainstream acceptance and many apps have been developed to optimize the overall experience. Today, Good e-Reader Research looks at how our reading habits might change 20 years from now.
Over the course of the last two weeks we ran a poll on Good e-Reader, asking people to look into the crystal ball and weigh in on how the majority of readers will be consuming books 20 years from now. 441 people from Canada, US and UK all participated in the research.
The number one result with 18% of the vote was the quintessential e-reader. E Ink is very easy on the eyes and is the only technology to mimic real paper. Since 2007 Amazon and Sony have led the innovation race and in the last few years the prices on the hardware have dramatically fallen.
In the second position we have print as the dominant format of choice, capturing 13.83% of the vote. Considering how print has the dominant format for hundreds of years, likely things won’t really be changing too much in the two decades.
Narrowly attaining the 3rd position in user voting were multimedia tablets, who garnered 13.38% of the vote. Seriously, tablets got two votes less than print books, which was very surprising. The rise of the iPad and Android based devices has generated a billion dollar app development industry, where thousands of high quality reading apps can be downloaded at a click of a button. Apps are the primarily distribution method for e-book subscription services such as Scribd and Oyster.
The rest of the field was really close, with a few votes separating the other options. Smartphones ( 9.3%), Virtual Reality (7.26%), Library (6.12%) and online (7.03%) rounded off the list. Surprisingly, the zombie apocalypse option attained 8.62% of the vote, giving credence that people might be too busy trying to survive instead of reading a book.
I think what surprised me the most was that smartphones were not as popular as I would have thought. Considering there are more smartphones in the world than any other device, people simply aren’t using them to read novels.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.