Where do you fit into the statistics on reading?

Over 24% of Americans adults (18 and older) have not read a book in the past 12 months. That’s an amazing fact when you consider e-books, libraries, etc. I am not sure I would be happy in life if I had no books to read. I get a healthy appreciation for books from my father. He once said if he was at a social event, he was more content sitting in a corner of the room with a book than he would be mingling. I get that. I still have a few of his books in my collection and I treasure them. Also, one aspect of our family genealogy is the impact of books in one of the most important libraries in Italy … the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (See the pic attached) … the legacy of the personal library from the dukes of Este (yep, our family way, way back – so I’m told) with over 500,000 printed works – many very rare.

While hiking with Calvin over the weekend, he asked me what movies and books I would take if I were to go live on Mars. Not sure where Mars fit into our future, unless he goes to work for a Tesla. Well, he asked what movies, but I immediately thought I would rather have books. You can make them last longer, get lost in adventures, and return to them over and over.

So, as I thought of this, I found a website with some interesting statistics on reading in America. Here are some of the things I discovered.


– Younger adults read more than older adults … but a good chunk of this is for research

– Paper/printed works were preferred by 68% of readers

– Millennials are the largest group of purchasers of paper/printed works

– 14% prefer audio books (but is this considered really reading?)

– College educated (completed degree or not) are more likely to be readers

– Women start more books than men

– The Mystery/Thriller is the most read genre

– The Romance genre increased over 300% in past two years

– Sales last year were over 10 billion (but that is down about 5 billion since 2010)

– The average number of books read per year is 4

– Blacks are more likely to read the Bible … 54% to a 38% Hispanic and 32% white


So, what do these statistical insights teach you and me? Well, I hope you are already a reader and it encourages you to keep on reading. At the least, if you are one of the 24% who didn’t read a book last year – pick one up, go to the library, borrow from a friend, download free ones on your phone/tablet/computer. There are plenty of free great works out there.

And especially, read the Bible – it’ll change your life.

But heed the word of the author of Ecclesiastes …

“Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” — so chose wisely.

Graphic from website of the Este Library in Modeno … link

Sources … onetwothree

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