Reading in the US: More

I found all kinds of disturbing reading information. But there’s nothing about reading online. It doesn’t even count. Yet I read 100+ blogs everyday. I think that’s reading.

Most of this I found at Para Publishing.

One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
42% of college graduates never read another book.
80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
57% of new books are not read to completion.
–Jerrold Jenkins.

But according to National Endowment for the Arts’ monograph, 57% of adults over the age of 18 read at least one book that was not for work or school in 2002.

The National Endowment for the Arts also said that 96 million Americans read literature in 2002 which was not required for work or school.

According to this same study, Americans read 2.1 billion (BILLION) books in 2002. I don’t think they were counting my 700+. No one ever asks me to fill out these kind of surveys.

Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.
63% of adults report purchasing at least one book during the previous three-month period. (Most were probably exaggerating).
–Bookselling This Week, November 10, 1997.
I have purchased four books in the last week. So if that were at least an average, which it probably is since sometimes I purchase 200 books in a weekend, I purchase over 200 books a year. (Why do I purchase 200 books in a weekend? Booksale at the library. A hardback is $1. Two paperbacks are $1.)

53% read fiction, 43% nonfiction. The favorite fiction category is mystery & Suspense, 19%.
–Publishers Weekly, May 12, 1997, page 13.

Of the top fifty books, fiction outsells nonfiction about 60% to 40%.
Fiction peaks in July at 70% but nonfiction reaches almost 50% in December.
–USA Today, April 30, 1999.

55% of fiction is bought by women; 45% by men.
–Publishers Weekly, May 12, 1997, page 13.

Thirty percent of Americans surveyed by the Harris Poll say they would rather read a book than do anything else; twenty-one percent said watching TV is their favorite activity. That’s the good news. The bad news is that only 13 percent selected “spending time with family.”
–Publishers Weekly email Daily, July 9, 1998.

70% of Americans haven’t visited a bookstore in five (5) years.
–Michael Levine, June 2002
I have trouble believing that one since I’m in one at least once a week.

Customers 55 and older account for more than one-third of all books bought.
–2001 Consumer Research Study on Book Purchasing by the Book Industry Study Group

People reduced their time reading between 1996 and 2001 to 2.1 hours/month.
2001: per capita spending on books per month was $7.18.
–Publishers Weekly, May 26, 2003

Only 32% of the U.S. population has ever been in a bookstore.
–David Godine, Publisher.
Okay. How likely is that to be true?

The time Americans spend reading books.
1996: 123 hours
2001: 109 hours
–Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment bankers
What does this mean in terms of books? For me that means about 75 books. I am fairly sure that is not true for everyone else.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts’ monograph, I qualify as an avid reader. That means I’ve read at least a book a week. But 1 in 6 people read at least a book a month in the US.

According to page 20 of the same monograph, 24% of Americans read 8 books or more a year. In the UK, 52% read 8 or more books a year. We fall in the bottom third compared to Europeans. They probably also watch way less TV than we do.

And, finally, for your knowledge pleasure, the most likely literary readers are white females between the ages of 45 and 54 with a graduate degree and a household income of over $75,000. Hmm. That sounds familiar.