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E-readers not turning the page on literature quite yet

E-readers not turning the page on literature quite yet

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The number of people reading digitally with tablets and e-readers is increasing, but is flipping through pages of a physical book old news?

A report released by the Pew Research Center said 28 percent of Americans 18 and over read at least one e-book in 2013.

"What we're seeing is a month to month increase in the number of people using e-books, and the number of e-books people are checking out," said Robert Wright, the director of the Idaho Falls Public Library.

According to Pew, in the under-30 crowd 50 percent of adults 18 and over, read at least one e-book in the past year. At the Idaho Falls Public Library, librarian Jenniffer Hentzen said the older crowd is really catching on.

"The older adults are coming to us to help them get the e-readers set up and functioning for them to use," said Hentzen. "We're teaching them how to use them."

So have we turned the page on reading a physical book? Not exactly. The Pew Research Center reports out of the adults who have read at least one e-book in the last year, only 5 percent did so without reading a print book, as well.

"By far, print is what we do most of," said Wright.

The rise in people e-reading hasn't affected circulation numbers at the Idaho Falls Public Library.

"Not everything is available on e-book yet, so they still have to come in here to get what they want," said Hentzen.

Many people don't know that the library offers e-book rentals. Jessica Collins found out Tuesday afternoon, but even with her brand new Nook, she said it won't keep her from reading books in print.

"The only reason I have the Nook is so that I can read in the dark when the baby's asleep, or when I'm on the go," said Collins. "It's easier that way."

At The Bookstore on Broadway, Jason Dejourdan said he doesn't believe e-reading has altered business.

"They don't want something that's just uploaded," said Dejourdan. "They want the pulp, they want the pages."

With the average American reading five books a year, Dejourdan thinks the "real thing" just won't be forgotten.

"The people that I've mostly spoken with agree that these books have a soul," said Dejourdan. "You get to flip around the pages, you get to hold it; it's physical." 

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