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 Holidaymakers choose books over e-readers

Holidaymakers choose books over e-readers

Thursday 05 September 2013

Most holidaymakers prefer printed books to e-readers, a poll of those travelling through Heathrow Airport this summer has shown.

The feeling of holding and thumbing through a real book was the main reason that 71 per cent of travellers said they would pack one over a slimmer, electronic version. The survey, conducted by Heathrow Airport, asked 2,000 holidaymakers about their reading habits while abroad. "There's no doubt that the popularity of e-books has boomed in recent years, but when it comes to relaxing on holiday it seems you just can't beat a good book," Muriel Zingraff-Shariff, Heathrow’s retail director said. When it comes to recommending reading, suggestions from friends and family were revealed to be the most influential, with 67 per cent stating they took their views into account.

Auto-generated online recommendations were thought to be less helpful however, with 33 per cent complaining that the results shown were too stereotypical and 15 per cent claiming they were just dull.

Foreign fiction was the most popular type of read, with nearly a quarter of those questioned (23 per cent) revealing they regularly chose to read classics written by nationals in the country they are visiting.

The research contrasts with Amazon’s claims last year that sales of its Kindle e-readers were outstripping its sale of books.

A Telegraph Travel poll from 2012 also showed support for e-readers, with the gadgets packed by 58 per cent of Telegraph readers. Another survey, by, found that between July 2011 and July 2012, 51 per cent of travellers had used an e-reader on holiday.

It is perhaps the case that initial enthusiasm for e-readers is waning. Philip Stone of The Bookseller said this summer that while the format is “certainly here to stay”, the shop is only expecting sales to increase by around 20 per cent in total this year.

According to The Publishers Association, printed books accounted for the vast majority of British sales in 2012, sliding by just one per cent to £2.9bn of a total £3.3bn sales across printed and digital formats.


  1. Telegraph:
    Holidaymakers choose books over e-readers.


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