By Carmen Chang,
«Through reading we become contemporaries of all men and citizens of all countries». -Antoine Houdar de la Motte (1672-1731), French author.
Reading on paper or reading on screen: how is this different?
This element constitutes one of the fundamental themes of the problematic of this research work. How different is the screen from paper for reading? This question with antagonistic terms is subject of permanent debate for many researchers.
Reading is always beneficial regardless of the format in which it is done. It doesn’t matter whether we read on paper or online… The important thing is that reading serves us and that we take advantage of it without stopping to think about the format in which the content is translated. In the Paris Book Room (2019), it was established that e-books had not changed the preference for printed books. There is also good news for the publishing world, since 9 out of 10 French people, or 88%, declare themselves readers. There has been an increase of 4 points compared to 2017. Today, the French read 21 books compared to 20 in 2017.
In this survey carried out with a barometer by the Centre National du Livre (CNL) to determine the statistics relating to “French and reading” it was concluded that the French are still good readers, however, it is believed that they are reading less and less and that they lack time for reading.
Three categories were defined in this study. There was a clear increase in the book market: “manga and comics (+ 5 points), science fiction novels (+ 4 points) and books on personal development (+ 4 points)” 2. This study also revealed that there is still a strong attachment to the printed book. According to the CNL barometer, the study’s authors find that the trend is that e-books have not affected the publishing world. There is a fairly visible increase between 2015 and 2017, and the rate of e-book readers marks a significant milestone in 2019. In 2019, 24% of respondents said they read e-books (the equivalent of four books) compared to 19% in 2015 (the equivalent of two titles) 3.
Moreover, “the lectureship of e-books is changing slightly with a higher proportion of women. On the other hand, the digital reader profile remains quite strong: young, student or CSP + and Francilien4”. According to the CNL, “the reading of digital books evolves marginally and does not cannibalize the paper format: only 1% of French read exclusively digital books” 5.
- Bruno Texier, Les Français et la lecture, du papier plutôt que du numérique, Bibliothèque édition archimag.com, 2019. Available here