by JaneWhenever I go away and am in a place where people are relaxing—on a beach, say, or sitting by a pool—I always look at what they are reading. Up until now, I have been curious as to the actual books, fiction or non-fiction and then what titles within those two categories. Is it science fiction, romance, mystery? Is it history, politics, biography or memoir? I can learn something from this kind of research in terms of what people are interested in and I can then use that information in searching out projects to represent.
This past week, my husband and I went to Florida to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family and I decided to do another kind of research, although I was virtually certain as to what the result was going to be. I decided that once I got through the body scanner or the pat down in security at the airport, that I was going to walk up and down the aisle of the plane I traveled on to see how people were reading, if they were reading. And I was absolutely sure of what I would find out.
First, much to my surprise the pass through security both going and coming was relatively painless; after all of the warnings over the last week and the threatened slow down at the check points, I was not looking forward to the experience; but as luck would have it, none of what was predicted came to pass, at least as far as we were concerned.
Now, on to the actual research. I went through each of the two planes I took and even perused the waiting areas before boarding and I found that almost everyone who was reading a book was reading an actual book and not using any kind of electronic reader. On the plane going down, I saw nobody with Kindles or Nooks or any other reader, but my husband, who helped me with my research, told me he saw two. There were at least 150 people on the flight down so, two readers certainly was surprisingly few. On the flight back which held as many people, I saw one Nook and one person reading on an iPad—everyone else who was reading a book was reading a hardcover or paperback.
I had truly expected the total opposite. With the enormous increase in the sales of e-readers, and e-books and knowing how easy it is to travel with an e-reader, it just seemed to me a no brainer that these would outnumber print editions. I couldn’t have been more mistaken and I am really surprised.
I wonder, would you have predicted as I did or not? And what, dear reader, do you think I was reading?