Saturday, December 29, 2012

Americans Read an Average of 15 Books a Year

What does it mean to be an above-average reader if you're in the United States? It means you read more than 15 books a year! A study from the Pew Research Center found that, on average, Americans went through 15 books in the past 12 months. That included printed and e-books. Who knew that we're a nation of readers?

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The same Pew Research Center study revealed that 89 percent of U.S. readers age 16 and older read a printed book; 30 percent read an e-book; and 17 percent listened to an audiobook. More women (81 percent) than men (70 percent ) read a book within the past year, according to the study. Also, reading declined with age: 90 percent of 16- to 17-year-olds, 80 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds, 77 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds, 72 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds, and 67 percent of those age 65 and older read books within the past year, revealed the study. I wonder if 16- to 29-year-olds read more because they're more likely to be in school and thus are assigned books to read for class; too, they tend to have more free time during which to read. I assume the percentage drops for 30- to 64-year-olds because of the time that child-rearing takes up. And perhaps the numbers further drop for seniors because of physical ailments that get in the way of reading, such as diminished eyesight, arthritis, or some other condition. Still, this is a very intriguing set of data on readers in the United States.

Lastly, the study showed that a whopping 75 percent of Americans age 16 and older read a book within the past year. As someone who is working her way through library school, I find this bit of information to be very reassuring!

To see all of the results from the Pew Research Center study, go to THIS LINK.

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