eBooks fail to attract young readers

If Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader is looking to make reading fab, hip and groovy, it is failing miserably.

A few months back, CNET mused about whom exactly was using Kindle, as Amazon itself seems somewhat recalcitrant to discuss the matter in public. Some 700 people replied, leading the mag to conclude that, at $359, younger folk would prefer to buy a gaming console, an iPod or to rent a copy of Porky’s VIII – Revenge of the Vomit with a side order of a mega bucket of Buffalo Wings and chilli sauce.

Of 700 users polled, half were over 50 and 70% are over 40. This would seem to indicate that the majority of users are people who would read books anyway, rather than being kewl dudes and dudettes with the attention span of – hey! Look! A castle!

While more mature folks are on record as stating that the digital reader can be easier to handle and read than printed books for arthritis sufferers and those with poor eyesight, we cannot but help feeling that Kindle has abjectly failed in diverting younger folk from the shiny allure of ten second YouTube clips of dancing kittens, co-eds drinking tequila shots using only their feet and people throwing up in their shorts. Or someone else’s.

It’s at times like this that I feel very, very old and very, very worried about the future of personkind. I’ve never met a person I liked who didn’t love reading books. Either in print or pixel form.