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Dear readers, I did not write a new article this week. Instead, I will ask you to take a couple of minutes to answer a few questions. This survey is about your reading and listening preferences. Your responses will help me to prepare future articles and books – maybe in audio – on the topics and in the formats you prefer.

Our digital world is changing very rapidly. Today, many people use their smartphone as their primary computer. For many people in developing areas, their smartphone is their first and only computer. In the last decade, the ebook has changed our reading habits by making books easily available, weightless, and inexpensive. Our grandparents would never have dreamed of you being able to carry an entire library in your pocket, and to be able to add to it anytime, anywhere you had an internet connection.

Additionally, around the world, audiobooks and podcast shows are growing very rapidly. (The easiest explanation of the difference between audiobooks and podcast shows is that audiobooks are like a movie while podcast shows are like episodes of a television series.)  While we commute to school and work, or anytime we work with our hands but are free to listen, increasing numbers of people are turning to podcast shows and audiobooks. (Plus, parents of small children and other people who wish to reduce screen time find listening is an attractive alternative to looking at a screen.) Some search engines are beginning to return query results that include podcast show episodes in addition to internet websites.

Likewise, we are becoming accustomed to voice commands and voice searches with various devices around our homes and in our pockets. Some authorities are predicting that the majority of searches will soon be initiated by voice instead of by typing. Like other technological developments in the past decades, these new developments will bring some good and some bad aspects to our daily life. With this survey, I am eager to learn what your habits and preferences are today.

Please answer the following questions according to your current reading and listening habits. If you wish, you are welcome to write a longer response to any question, but most can be answered very quickly. I think the easiest way to complete this survey is to copy and paste the questions to a Word or text file. Then type your answer below each question, and email your responses to

Thanks very much for helping me with this information about your preferences. If you wish to know the survey results, please include a message in your email to me and I will send you a summary.

I’ll be back with the regularly scheduled drivel next week. Please participate. It will be a big help for me to know what you know, like, and trust.


1) How many ebooks have you read in the last year?  How many paper books have you read in the last year? (Students: Please, do not include class textbooks in your answer.)

2) Do you usually read ebooks on your smartphone, tablet, Kindle, or laptop? Do you read ebooks in PDF, Mobi, or ePub format?

3) Do you ever read short stories, serialized stories, or single chapters of non-fiction ebooks?

4) Where do you get your ebooks? What sources or websites do you download them from?

5) How do you decide which ebooks to download and read? Do you use visit websites that recommend books? Do you join online groups for readers to discuss what they are enjoying?

6) Do you listen to podcasts on your phone or computer? How many podcasts do you listen to each week?

7) How do you locate, download, and listen to podcasts?

8) What type of podcast programs do you prefer?

9) How do you decide which podcasts to listen to? How do you search for new podcasts?

10) Do you prefer to listen to podcasts or read blog posts?

11) Do you listen to audiobooks on your phone or computer? How many audiobooks do you listen to each month?

12) What is your favorite type of audiobook? How do you learn about new audiobooks which you want to download and listen to?

13) When you are using your phone or computer, do you use voice commands or typed commands to search for new ebooks, podcasts, and audiobooks?

To help me sort this information, please include your gender, age, occupation/student grade, and location. No need for your name unless you wish. This survey is for my own use. No one else will see your responses.

3 Replies to “Blog Reader Survey”

  1. (From Randy)
    Very interesting to read Bonnie’s response to the recent survey so I will post it here. What an organized and logical person. Highly efficient in the use of her time. Nice.

    1). I read at least 40 ebooks last year, but only 5 real books.
    2). I often read ebooks on kindle, it makes my eye feel relax and the effect is similar to the real books. I read ebooks in Mobi format.
    3). I read short stories, and I prefer classic books.
    4). I get ebooks from amazon store, sometimes by baidu.
    5). I will check the hot sell book ranking, and choose the books to download and read. I rarely visit websites to recommend books. I don’t join the group.
    6). I listen podcasts on my phone, I like to listen English radio.
    7). I like the youtube to watch the vedio.
    8). I like to listen the English program about foreign culture and tradition.
    9). I will listen for a while and then decide.
    10). I like real blog.
    11). I rarely listen the audiobook.

  2. Dear Randy
    When I am in China, I enjoy very much to read ebooks (Kindle, Amazon), because I can take along and around a big amount and choice of interesting books. In Switzerland I prefer real books of which I have collected thousands. You are one of the few bloggers I follow, because I want to know personally the person I listen to his comprehension and opinion of the world. I want to judge if I can trust him.
    (From Randy)
    Tegory (first comment) writing from Turkey and Kurt from Switzerland. I feel honored and excited to have international readers. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Too old to read ebook, kindle – go through two amazon paperbacks a month. YouTube four hours a day, scan Zerohedge, Breitbart, FB. View/listen to podcasts via YouTube. Want to make a podcast sometime before the goats come home.
    (From Randy)
    Tegory represents a common situation today. He says that he is “too old to read ebooks on kindle” but says that he gets his paperback books from, and spends hours online each day to get his news and entertainment from various online sources. He listens to podcasts on Youtube and wants to make a podcast. Tegory is using many digital resources that were completely unavailable only a generation ago. But there are so many mediums and so many opportunities – and more every week, it seems – no one can utilize all of them. We select only a few of the many possibilities.

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