Chart of the day: Americans and their books


blog-books
More from the Gallup report:

The number of Americans who say they read no books in the past year has doubled since the first time Gallup asked this in 1978, from 8% then to 16% now, but has been fairly steady near the current level since 1990.

The results are based on an open-ended question that asked half of Americans to recall the number of books they read all or part of the way through in the past year — the trend wording — and the other half to recall the number of books they read or listened to all or part of the way through. Given that there was no meaningful difference in the answers, the results to the two versions were combined.

Although the survey did not track the types of books that Americans read by age group, book reading in general is fairly similar by age group among U.S. adults. It is a bit more prevalent among the oldest and youngest age groups than among those in the middle years. Roughly nine in 10 adults aged 18 to 29 (91%) report reading at least one book in the past year — possibly related to the required reading among college students within this age group. The percentage among those aged 65 and older is 85%. Nearly four in 10 respondents in both age groups say they read more than 10 books.

The most meaningful differences in reading behavior since 2002 are evident among Americans aged 65 and older. Collectively, they are reading more books than the same age group did in 2002. The percentage reading one or more books increased from 68% to 85%, including a four-percentage-point increase in those reading 11 or more, from 33% to 37%.

esnl, at 70 one of those older readers, consumes an average of 100 books a year, all the old-fashioned way. . .between the covers [though not under the covers, a practice abandoned at about age sixteen when mom finally stopped checking on our nocturnal reading addiction].

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