(via Reddit) This article surprised me, although I don't know why -- I don't use an e-reader, even though I'm avidly against arbitrarily clinging to old technologies. But apparently, teenagers (as opposed to adults and young children) tend to prefer print books to e-books.
And teens are slow to adopt e-books, in part because they do not see e-books as a social technology and they think there are too many restrictions on sharing digital titles. (Source)
The article outlines some pretty clear conclusions that the study has come to about the reasons teens aren't adopting e-books. But I thought that the reddit thread on the topic made somewhat more compelling points. Amid the redditry.
All of the below are horrible speculation and should be read as such:
- Teens often face heavy tech restrictions at schools. These can stem from laptops to cell phones
- Teens generally would want to use a reader for textbooks. These can be filled with horrible formating errors and glitches since many publishers just rush the E-book versions of textbooks out, AND they often costmore! than the hardcover
- Teens are usually reading more at home rather than on the go like most adults are.
- Tech-savy teens probably would rather just read on their laptop or smartphone instead of carrying yet another device. They don't know yet to whine about things like resolution, contrast, and eye strain like tech-savy adults do.
To my mind, the biggest appeal print books have over e-books is much better random access. It's not easy to flip around looking for a particular passage in an e-book, the way it is in a print book, and for certain kinds of reading, like textbooks,[1. Or, if you're a mildly insane geek like me, remembering and re-referencing passages from all your favorite fiction like you're quoting from a holy book.] that utility can trump portability pretty quickly.
That said, e-books are a new technology in pretty much every sense, and I think we're decades away from knowing how, if at all, they fit into our lives and our literature.