New University of Colorado-Ricoh Study Finds Readers Won't Give Up Printed Books

Posted on December 9, 2013

Ricoh Americas Corporation (Ricoh) released an interesting study it did with the University of Colorado. The study found that despite the advent of ebooks, readers really love paper books and have no intention of giving them up. The study was called "The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers." It found that nearly 70% of consumers felt it was unlikely that they will give up on printed books by 2016. Readers have an emotional attachment to printed books and enjoy the physical aspects of them.

The study claims that 60% of ebooks downloaded in the U.S. are never read. The study authors note that the growth of ebooks has declined since 2012. One finding was not at all surprising: college students far prefer printed books to ebooks for textbooks. They said the physical books helped them concentrate -- electronic displays are too distracting.

The top three reasons consumers gave for choosing printed books over ebooks were: ebooks cause eye strain, whereas printed books do not; the look and feel of paper is preferable to holding an electronic device; and the enjoyment consumers receive when adding a printed book to their bookshelves.

George Promis, vice president of continuous forms production solutions & technology alliances at Ricoh had this to say about the study: "More than 500 years after the invention of the printing press, book manufacturers and publishers are playing a pivotal role in the next renaissance in books that is happening now. To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, reports of the printed book's death are greatly exaggerated. Print is alive, well and sought after in today’s book market. At Ricoh, we're focused on ensuring this stays true for years to come."