Put Down the Phone, Pick Up a Book: Most Readers Plan to Break the Electronics Habit and Focus on Reading This Summer, New Survey Shows
In Push for More Device-Free Time, 9-of-10 Parents Will Ask Their
Children to Sign Off to Read, According to Barnes & Noble-Commissioned
Mysteries Top Summer Wish List, Followed by History, Fantasy and
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A large majority of American readers (80%) plan to put away their cell
phones to focus on reading this summer, according to an independent
survey of 1,500 reading adults commissioned by Barnes & Noble, Inc.
(NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest retail bookseller. Of 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
The survey, conducted in early May by the market research company Atomik
Research, also showed nearly 90% of parents with children between six-
and 17-years old plan to ask their youngsters not to use electronic
devices like cell phones and video games during certain periods of time
during the 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 Vice President
and Chief Merchandising Officer for Barnes & Noble. “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
In fact, 61% of parents surveyed said summer reading is very important
to their families, and 70% said summer reading for their kids is just as
important as reading during the school year. In a sign that reading is a
shared activity in many households, 69% of parents said their families
read together during the summer, with more than half of parents (55%)
planning to read the same books as their children this summer so they
can have a bonding experience.
Parents also have high expectations of the number of books their
children should read this summer, compared with the broader sample. Of
the 1,500 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
What (and How) Will They Be Reading?
Among the full sample of readers, 48% said they plan to read books in
the mystery genre this summer, 37% in the history genre, 34% in the
fantasy genre and 33% in the science fiction genre.
Sixty-nine percent of summer readers said they will most often read a
print book. Nearly a quarter (24%) of summer readers will most often
read a book on an electronic device, while seven percent will listen to
an audiobook. Of those reading or listening on a device, 34% will use an
e-Reader, 34% will use a cell phone and 32% will use a tablet.
In Storytelling, Books Win the Day
The survey also found that when it comes to storytelling, books are
favored over movies and television programs hands down. Respondents said
that when a television show or movie is based on a book, more than
three-quarters (77%) of both summer readers and parents say 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,” Mr. Mantel said. “The idea of
curling up with a good book never loses its appeal.”
Barnes & Noble commissioned Atomik Research to conduct an online survey
of 1,502 adults in the United States who plan to read a book this
summer. The sample included 1,001 respondents who are the parents of
school-aged children between 6 and 17 years old. The margin of error
fell within +/- 3 percentage points, with a confidence interval of 95%.
The fieldwork took place from May 7-9, 2019. Atomik Research is an
independent creative market research agency.
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is the world’s largest retail
bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and
educational products. The Company operates 627 Barnes & Noble bookstores
in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com). The
Nook Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK®
tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and
entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store
features digital books, periodicals and comics, and offers the ability
to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free
NOOK Reading Apps™ available for Android™, iOS®
General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting
the Company’s corporate website at www.barnesandnobleinc.com.
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and Barnes & Noble.com® are trademarks of Barnes & Noble,
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Mary Ellen Keating
Senior Vice President
Barnes & Noble, Inc.