Poll results show hard copy books are in decline

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COLUMBIA - A poll conducted through Vouchercloud.com concluded 26 percent of adult Americans do not read books.

Grant Elementary School reading teacher Susan Maglich said this makes her sad and worried for future generations.

"I think there are so many things you can do with books," Maglich said. "There is that old saying that says books take you to different places if you can't go physically, but you can go through a book."

The results in the poll showed that 32 percent of Americans prefer to read magazines, and 28 percent prefer to read a newspaper over a book. 

The chart below shows how poll respondents reported consuming literature:

The rise of e-books is also starting to push the traditional books out of the market. In this poll, 10 percent of Americans said they only read hard copies. 

Bookstore owner Joe Chevalier said technology will not replace the overall experience of reading a book. 

"I think there is something about the tactile sensation of holding a book physically and turning pages with your hand," Chevalier said. 

When it comes to the younger generations, schools like Grant Elementary School are working with kids one-on-one to make sure reading becomes a daily habit.

"One of the things we do that keeps things motivated is try and get them at a young age before they experience some difficulties with reading," Maglich said. "So we want to get them to be proactive and give them as many strategies."

The Daniel Boone Regional Library has also opened its doors to literacy programs for children and outreach programs to engage learning through reading.

Public Relations Manager Mitzy St. John said it's discouraging to find out there is a decline in book reading. 

"One of the lifetime goals of the library is to encourage lifelong learning," St. John said. "We start encouraging children to read the minute they are born."

The Vouchercloud poll questioned people who were all full-time employees and over the age of 21.