This summer, 80% of American readers plan to put away their cell phones to focus on reading, according to an independent survey of 1,500 reading adults commissioned by Barnes & Noble, which reported that among those "expressing the desire to make reading a priority, many have vowed not to look at their phones for between 30 minutes and two hours during each reading session."
Conducted in early May by Atomik Research, the survey also showed that nearly 90% of parents with children between 6 and 17 years old plan to ask them not to use electronic devices during certain periods of time this summer. Of those, 44% said they want their kids to be device-free for more than three hours; 21% would be happy if their kids were off phones and videos for one to two hours a day.
"Parents have high hopes for themselves and their kids when it comes to reading habits this summer," said Tim Mantel, executive v-p and chief merchandising officer for B&N. "The desire to impose device-free time on themselves and their children was very strong among survey respondents, an indication of the importance of reading across generations."
The survey also found that 61% of parents said summer reading is very important to their families, while 70% said summer reading for their kids is just as important as reading during the school year. In addition, 69% of parents said their families read together during the summer, with 55% planning to read the same books as their children so they can have a bonding experience.
Of the readers surveyed, 38% hope to read one to three books this summer, while 37% hope to read four to six books. Among parents, 35% want their child/children to read four to six books this summer, 26% want them to read 10 or more books, and 25% want them to read one to three books.
In terms of genre breakdown, 48% plan to read mysteries, 37% history, 34% fantasy and 33% science fiction. Fifteen percent said they plan to join a book club this summer, with 7% saying they are already in a book club.
Among the respondents, 69% will most often read a print book, 24% a book on an electronic device, and 7% an audiobook. Of those reading or listening on a device, 34% will use an e-reader, 34% a cell phone and 32% a tablet.
When it comes to storytelling, the survey found that when a TV show or movie is based on a book, 77% of both summer readers and parents said the book is usually better than television show or movie.
"Even with the amazing technology in modern film-making and the broad variety of television programming, respondents still enjoy the reading experience more in terms of storytelling," Mantel said. "The idea of curling up with a good book never loses its appeal."