Lingya Zhang


As part of the digital publishing revolution, the advent of eReader devices has had a strong impact on the reading habits of ordinary people and the traditional publishing industry. This study investigated how people have changed their reading behavior with the rise of the eReader by analyzing the amount of reading of different material and their media preferences among different platforms. An online survey was designed to study the changes in reading habits of faculty and staff from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). On January 13th, 2011, an email with a survey link was sent through the RIT e-mail system. The survey was closed after two weeks. Of the 3,600 potential respondents, 600 started the survey, while 563 completed the survey yielding a response rate of 15.6%. The study found that there were no statistically significant differences between eReader users and non-users in the average amount of printed books and printed magazines consumed. However, although half of the eReader users believed their printed book reading had stayed the same after purchasing an eReader, of the 145 eReader users, 38% reported reading fewer. A similar patterns was found for magazines. The majority of respondents (86%) reported their printed magazine reading had remained the same although 10% of the eReader users indicated that they had read fewer after purchasing an eReader. The study also showed that eReader users and non-users shared similar interests in consuming media content. E-mail and news were the most consumed texts both on computer screens and eReaders by RIT faculty and staff, and there were no differences in amount of time spent on computer reading for eReader users and non-users. In addition, only 5.1% of eReader users and 1.9% of non-users in this study said they had read eBooks on computers, making the computer the least popular platform for book reading. The study revealed that eReaders were the most popular devices among eBook readers. The Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad ranked were the most popular brands among eReader users and potential buyers. In sum, this study showed that using an eReader device has not impacted reading behavior in the sample of respondents who were older and more educated than the general public. Other results from this study were consistent with previous studies: the younger generation was more likely to adopt an eReader than the older generation; males were more likely to purchase an eReader device than females; and eReader users were still printed media lovers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rochester Institute of Technology--Faculty--Attitudes; Rochester Institute of Technology--Employees--Attitudes; Electronic book readers--Public opinion; Electronic books--Public opinion; Books and reading--Public opinion

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Print Media (CIAS)


Pankow, David


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: Z1033.E43 Z43 2012


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