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Most Americans Are Still Buying Books at the Store

Monday, February 21, 2011

The rise of electronic readers and online outlets such as Amazon threaten to make the traditional bookstore obsolete, but new Rasmussen polling finds that most Americans still prefer the old-fashioned way of buying a book.

The latest national telephone survey finds that 71% of Adults say they are most likely to go to a bookstore or some other retail store to buy a book.  That figure includes 49% who are most inclined to go to a bookstore such as Borders or Barnes and Noble.  Twenty-one percent (21%) are most likely to order a book online, while just four percent (4%) say they’re most likely to download their reading material to an e-reader.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Eighty-one percent (81%) of Americans say they’d rather read a book in a traditional format than on an electronic device such as a Kindle.  Only eight percent (8%) prefer to read on an e-reader, while 11% more are not sure.

In June of last year, 10% of all adults said they had used an electronic reading device, up from seven percent (7%) in November 2009

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on February 17-18, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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