SAN DIEGO, April 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- From a cardboard baby book to a digital novel on a sleek electronic reader, literature can be a life-long pleasure. In celebration of World Book and Copyright Day on April 23rd, the Digital Reading Business Division at Sony Electronics today announced the findings of an international reading survey conducted in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
The survey was conducted in March, 2011, by RKM Research and Communications, Inc., and polled 500 readers in each country to discover the books that have had the most profound effect, the literary characters readers relate to and which celebrity book picks would be the most influential.
"While April 23rd marks World Book and Copyright Day, for many literature lovers every day is a book day. The Sony Reader allows any one to carry more than 1,000 books with them wherever they go," said Phil Lubell, vice president of the Networked Technology Solutions Division at Sony Electronics. "The international Reader survey illustrates the important role books play in our lives."
Comedian Book Picks Hold Sway
According to the study, one in four Americans wants to read books selected by popular daytime talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres. Other in-demand sources for book recommendations include Bill Gates (18 percent), Warren Buffet (13 percent), Michelle Obama (12 percent), star athlete Tom Brady (8 percent), Matt Lauer (6 percent) and Oprah Winfrey (1 percent).
Comedians also top the list as literary influencers for Brits and Australians. In the United Kingdom, 29 percent of respondents would read books recommended by funny man Ricky Gervais. Down under, 31 percent of Aussies responded that they would read books recommended by native comic Andrew Denton. In Canada, national broadcast anchor Peter Mansbridge holds the most influence over readers, while 26 percent of French Canadian respondents said they would be most swayed by songstress Celine Dion's choices.
Treasured Books Passed On To Kids
The survey also found that when asked, "What classic book would you like to pass on to your children?" one in five American parents cited Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat at the top of their list, followed by classics including Charlotte's Web (15 percent), Winnie the Pooh (11 percent), The Giving Tree (10 percent) and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (10 percent).
When asked the same question, Canadians, Brits and Australians unanimously agreed that Winnie the Pooh would be at the top of their respective lists as the book of choice to pass down to their kids. In addition to those findings, Robert Munsch's Love You Forever scored highly (18 percent) in his Canadian homeland.
Readers Can Relate
America's favorite character is "elementary" – when asked, "Which literary character do you relate to the most?" 17 percent chose Sherlock Holmes. Canadians (19 percent) and Australians (14 percent) felt the same way about the treasured detective, while 14 percent of Brits responded that they most related to James Bond. American respondents also furthered that they relate to Tom Sawyer (15 percent), Scarlett O'Hara (9 percent), Harry Potter (9 percent) and Bella Swan (7 percent).
Other survey findings
- Books in bedrooms - When asked where they read most often, more than three in four Americans (79 percent) take their books to bed with them. The living room is second, with 73 percent, followed by 37 percent who like to read on vacation. 8 percent of total respondents report taking a book on their commute to work.
- The Bible's effect – Overall, more American respondents have been impacted by the Bible than those in other countries surveyed. About one in five (21 percent) named the Bible as the book that "had the most profound effect on you," versus 11 percent of Canadians, 9 percent of Australians and 8 percent of Brits.
- Harry Potter's power - While the Bible is tops overall, the next most influential literature cited by respondents is the Harry Potter series. Amongst younger respondents age 18-24, Harry Potter topped the Bible with 8 percent versus 5 percent.
The results of this report are based on an international online survey commissioned by Sony Electronics. The research was conducted as part of Sony's support of World Reading and Copyright Day.
The survey was conducted by RKM Research and Communications, March 11-21, 2011. The survey is based on a sample of 500 randomly selected consumers in: 1) the United States; 2) the United Kingdom; 3) Australia; and 4) Canada. The Canadian sample included 122 consumers who self-identified as French Canadian.
The survey was intended to be representative of adults in each of the four countries under investigation. Online panels were used to select respondents, and invitations to participate in the survey were systematically balanced to match the demographic characteristics (gender, age, education and income) of respondents within each country to known census information. Each country panel was also balanced by region to ensure the representativeness of each sample.
About the Reader™ Digital Book
Sony's line of beautifully-designed Reader digital books include the Reader Pocket Edition™, Reader Touch Edition™ and the wireless Reader Daily Edition™. Reader digital books feature a host of design and technology enhancements that make them the perfect device for any reader's lifestyle. Reader brings a fresh level of flare to e-reading with colorful, elegant aluminum designs and highly responsive full touch screens designed specifically for digital reading. The new, first-to-market technology improves response time and increases reading clarity, creating a natural, immersive reading experience. Since its inception in September 2006, Sony's Reader Store has included a wide offering of new releases and bestselling eBook titles for book lovers of all kinds. Today it features access to more than two million titles and links to borrow eBooks from local public libraries nationwide.
Editor's Note: For additional information about the Reader digital book, your readers can call (888) 315-SONY, or visit Sony's web site at: www.sony.com/reader. Members of the media looking for complete product specifications and digital images and other information are invited to visit Sony Electronics' news and information web site at www.sony.com/news.
SOURCE Sony Electronics