Tuesday, August 16

Spanish readers cling to the paper edition versus the e-book


On the right, Manuel Colla, Juan Carlos Álvarez, Natalia Cruz –reading LA NUEVA ESPAÑA, a newspaper from the same communication group as this medium– and Santi Rodríguez, on a terrace in Oviedo.

On the right, Manuel Colla, Juan Carlos Álvarez, Natalia Cruz –reading LA NUEVA ESPAÑA, a newspaper from the same communication group as this medium– and Santi Rodríguez, on a terrace in Oviedo.
Irma Collín

The attachment of Spanish readers over 14 years of age to paper remains very solid despite the progressive digitization of society. This analog and ancient technology It is preferred by 58% of readers, while 27% already consume the digital version of the different publications. This is one of the main conclusions of the survey carried out among its panel of Internet users by the Association for Media Research (AIMC).

The preference of Spanish readers for the paper format is clear, although the survey finds, in relation to those who prefer digital books, an increase of five points. Also with regard to the purchase of digital books an increase is perceived. CWith respect to 2018, the date on which the last panel was held, the number of readers who only buy digital books has increased by three points (7%). However, 47.7% of those surveyed say that they only buy paper books, a figure lower than the historical figure, which ranged between 53% and 54%. There is 12% of consumers who buy both paper and digital books. The survey reveals that 33% of Spaniards did not buy any books in the last year.

In this research work on reading consumption, the influx to libraries is also analyzed and, in this section, a 41% drop in attendance to libraries is observed. public loan services, data that must be attributed to the restrictions due to the pandemic.

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The survey reveals that 33% of Spaniards did not buy any books in the last year

The digital book has caught on among readers and 64% acknowledge that they have read a book in this format, a figure that is 4 points above that registered in 2018. However, if they had to choose between paper and digital formats, 66% undoubtedly opted for paper. Moreover, when comparing the figures with the results of previous years, those who prefer to read on paper to read on the screen grow by four points. 17% of readers are indifferent and another 17% clearly opts for the electronic version.

The reading epidemic deflated after last year’s lockdown

The confined spring of 2020 was also the spring of the readers. The AIMC panel of Internet users found that 41% of Spaniards read more during these weeks of mandatory confinement, compared to 17% of people who admit that they read “less or nothing” during confinement due to the pandemic. However, the reading habit was diluted as soon as we were able to leave the house. The survey shows that only 11% continue to read more even than in those days of forced confinement and 32% admit that they now read less. This study, made from the responses of Internet users, reveals that they are still considered readers. They ensure that they read a book a month. Of that average of 11.6 volumes per year, 6.4 are in paper format and another 5.2 in ebook format. The data also confirm, in the group of the most assiduous to reading, that in Spain there is 20.5% of the population that reads more than 15 books a year. When it comes to genres, the novel takes the cake. 75% choose a novel as the first option when reading a book. As for reading places, the home is undoubtedly the preferred space for 92% of those surveyed. However, 4% say that their main place of reading is work and 2% say that they mostly read on their trips on public transport. The survey carried out by the Association for Media Research among its panel of Internet users also tries to clarify what changes have occurred in the use of free time among Spaniards and with respect to the time before the coronavirus pandemic. 37% of those surveyed say that they now spend more time browsing the internet. 23% admit that they have started to spend more time with the family and 22% admit that they exercise more. The AIMC survey was conducted between April 30 and May 26 through 1,850 interviews. Throughout this year, the entity will continue to explore changes in customs with respect to pre-pandemic times.

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The “touch and experience”, that is why the paper book is chosen

What are the reasons for the reader to opt for paper or the digital book? The survey reveals that 52% of readers say they prefer reading on paper by “The touch and handling of the book.” 45% prefer it because “reading books in the traditional format is a very different experience than reading them in electronic format.” As for the supporters of the electronic book, 38% consider decisive “Saving weight and volume”. 21% prefer it because of “the possibility of having many different titles in a single object” and 18% choose it because of the financial savings it represents compared to printed editions.

16% of Spaniards say they never read

16% of Internet users surveyed by the AIMC assure that they never or almost never read. When it comes to giving reasons, a majority argue that they “don’t like it” or that “He is not interested in reading.” Regarding the consumption of texts on the web, 12% of Internet users affirm that they never read long texts and, on the other hand, 48% affirm that they read long texts (“of several paragraphs”) every day on the Internet. Although the e-book is still the most widely used device among book readers, there is an increase of 5 points in reading through mobile phones. Thus, 25% of digital readers responded that they consume books by reading on these small screens.


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