Books not a part of most adults’ lives

Growing Number of U.S. Adults Just Don’t Read Books

by Daniel Sweat0 October 1, 2019

Growing Number of U.S. Adults Just Don’t Read Books

More than a quarter (27%) of U.S. adults say they haven’t read a book in the last year. No print books, no e-books, not even an audiobook – nothing! I know, I know, book lovers might be kind of shocked to learn how many Americans simply don’t enjoy reading all that much.

In a survey of 1,502 American adults, the Pew Research Center found there is a growing section of the population that doesn’t read at all. This statistic is up from 19% in 2011 when Pew began collecting data.

In a graphic published by the Pew Research Center, they broke down how book-reading habits vary by age, income, and community type:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Pew found that college graduates and more affluent Americans are more likely to have read a book than others, reaffirming the prevailing wisdom that ease-of-access is one of the most important factors for increasing literacy.

In another study, Pew found that the typical American has read at least four books in 12 months. But Americans, on average, read 12 books a year.

And while e-books and audiobooks are growing, it appears their popularity comes at the expense of the popularity of print books. 37% of American say they only read print books, 28% read or listen to digital formats, and about 7% of Americans say they exclusively read books in digital formats and totally eschew print books.

Nevertheless, print is still king. Leading 7% over e-books, Americans still seem to prefer physical copies to their digital counterparts.

Moral of the story: let’s get reading! We gotta get those numbers up.

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