By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-ChiefIn today’s feature story about Russia’s digital publishing market, Vladimir Kharitonov says that while Russians are reading less print books than before, they are in truth, actually reading more:
“Now there is the Internet, social networks, YouTube, messaging, mp3s, video, and so on. We in fact read more, but we read more posts, articles, and comments — not books. A book as a vessel of condensed thought and knowledge must now compete with Wikipedia and articles on popular blogs. Really, Russians read less: now 35% of adult Russians don’t read books at all. In 1996 only 20% of adult Russians didn’t read books. But digital books can and do reverse this trend: 48% of readers of digital books do not read less, and 42% of them actually read more than before. It’s not very strange: if you’ve bought a book reader or iPad for reading you’ll read more.”
Statistically speaking, it makes sense. Anecdotally, readers reiterate that owning an e-reader means they buy more books, a theory supported by e-booksellers. And last year, the Oren Michaels, CEO of Mashery, asserted in these pages:
“In fact, the average American reads over 35,000 words a day (the equivalent of roughly one third of an average novel). As a whole, our consumption of the written word has increased from 26% of our daily dose of information in 1960 to over 36% in 2008 — the increase largely accounted for by digital reading.”
What do you think? Does digital publishing really encourage more reading? Fact or fiction?