Book readers in the digital age

Reading practices and media technologies

Annika Schwabe, Lukas Kosch, Hajo G. Boomgaarden and Günther Stocker


With the rising popularity of digital reading media, leisure reading is undergoing a transformation process. However, the reasons for readers to adopt e-book reading or to stick to traditional printed books are mainly unknown. Therefore, we explored demographic and motivational differences between print readers, digital readers, and readers using both reading media. We further studied their book-reading practices, like the amount of reading, the preferred genres, the different reading situations, and if there are dedicated reading media for specific genres or situations. Additionally, we explored if digital reading media have changed the reading process or just appeal to a certain type of reader. Therefore, we conducted a survey (n  =  779) of adult book readers about their leisure reading behavior. The results show that print readers, digital readers, and readers using both media differ in age, gender, amount of reading, genre preference, and the situations in which they read. Furthermore, digital reading media especially foster reading on the move.

Read, print or download full text