Skip to main content

Current State of Reading - PEW 2014

 I was just reading the PEW report concerning reading in 2013. With just the base facts: 3 in 10 adults read an ebook; half own a tablet or e-reader; 92% of adults own a cell phone (majority as smart phone); and the typical American (who read a book) read five books over the last year, but that only 4% of readers are digital only.



First and foremost, I'm happy about the five, but only become from other studies I had heard, it was a lower number, so in that way five is a plus, over something like one. In looking closely at the foot notes though I found these two to be interesting.

3-  Though the mean represents the average number of books read, this number can be skewed by a relatively small number of very avid readers; this is why it is so much higher than the median, which shows the midpoint number of books read and therefore is a better measure of what the “typical” American’s reading habits look like.
4-  Among only adults who did read a book in the past year, the mean is 16 books and the median is 7.

These two do provide some interesting aspects when you are examining the data. Consider #4 that "among only adults who did read a book" - that makes me wonder about how many adults "did not read a book" which their report later states as 23%. And #3 does help provide the curve skewed data in that the average and the middle are not the same, and that there is a group of avid readers who can make that shift, which for this study was only identified as those that read more than 20 books in a year. I know that in LibraryThing there is a discussion group/club of people who read over a hundred books a year, they would be in that skewing group. But they would also be representative of people who are purchasing a lot of books, so while they may not be the majority of readers, they would be representative of those that are buying a lot of books. Those are the ones I think about when I read that average reading hasn't changed, but a number of bookstores have closed. I wonder about that 4% - how many are they reading?

Now for more on the ebook side. There usually needs to be some kind of saturation of tool available now that tablets and e-readers are at 50% of people have one or the other, then there is good saturation. Which helps show the growth in reading from such devices has grown since 2011.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ebooks as Textbooks - Part 2 - Highlighting

Highlighting can be a very effective tool in reading and learning no matter the kind of text being read: from novels to textbooks.

Most textbooks or other forms of information text will usually used text features along with graphics to help organize information presented in the text.  These elements are done to help focus attention on important or key concepts and provide additional information. The text organization itself can include structural elements such as heading, subheading, index, glossary, paragraph spacing, bulleted or numbered lists, sidebars or side boxes, italics, underlines or bold for words or even sections. Graphic content can include the use of symbols, colors, illustrations, pictures, diagrams, charts, and graphs.
The act of highlighting is less time consuming and much easier than note-taking (to be discussed in an upcoming posting). To be effective in highlighting it should be a kind of metacognitive approach of sifting or filtering to identify the important content…

Ebooks as Textbooks Part 6 - Taking Note

The process of taking notes, makes reading that much more of an active process and will aid in comprehension and retention. The addition of your own personal notes are usually easier to understand and remember than textbook material. As a student reads the textbook, he or she may not remember all of that they read when they have finished - this is especially true of very dense texts. But, if a student reads the information and also writes down notes about what he or she is reading at the same time, then that extra step reinforces that information and improves retention. So one of the best ways to retain information you are reading it is to take notes while you are actually reading it, for print books these notes were usually written in the margins of the text and so were called margin notes. 

The taking of margin notes is a strategy that focuses your attention on important information from the textbook, novels, or articles that you are reading. Because it involves tagging key words or …

Auto Summarization

In dealing with textbooks and students with disabilities, one of the most common things that we would do is to get the textbook in a digital format, as an ebook. By doing this we were able to use a number of tools based on the need of the student. I've had students who could not lift their physical printed textbook, but would be able to access though a laptop installed in their electronic wheelchair, for students with vision issues we could boost the font size or use a text-to-speech tool to have the book read aloud to them. One tool that I used with a number of my students who had issues was the Auto Summarize tool in Word. The tool works well with textbook, but wouldn't work for other texts, such as novels.  I used this to reduce the amount of text that they had to read, the "cognitive load" of the text, but would still enable be able to get the information. Word did a great job, and depending on the student I would reduce the text to about 66% for facts and suppor…