While this isn’t news, having first been revealed at the onset of device penetration, the study does demonstrate that the majority of readers ages sixteen to mid-twenties still prefer old fashioned paper for their pleasure reading. Part of the reason has always been attributed to the way this demographic views its electronic devices, specifically for social interaction like phone calls, text messaging, and social media, but now a new reason comes into play.
With so much government attention and funding going towards creating the so-called 21st Century Learners and with the nearly 100% widespread adoption of the Common Core in the US which requires focused technology instruction, high school students are now using those same devices for academic purposes in greater numbers than before. Coupled with the social aspect of the technology, many teens want to keep their personal choice reading separate from both their school lives and their social lives.
One final reason may be the emotional aspect to the nostalgia. It’s no secret that, taken as a whole, young adult readers become very invested in the characters they come to care about, and the link between paper and an emotional investment is a strong one for many teens.
Interestingly, it seems as though books were the only area where physical wins out over digital, as music, movies, and magazines were all preferred in e-versions by the majority.