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Who Reads Books?

From the Mental Floss blog:

Who Reads Books?
by Ransom Riggs – April 25, 2011 – 11:54 AM

“If anyone reads books, it’s probably you guys. But according to some recently-gathered (and frankly startling) statistics, you’re a dying breed. To wit:

• One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
• 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
• 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
• 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
• 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.”

Some startling statistics
by Robyn Jackson

“The following statistics about book publishing and reading were found on www.parapub.com, the Web site of self-publishing guru Dan Poynter. They’ll give you an idea of what you’re up against if you want to write books for a living.

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins, www.JenkinsGroupInc.com)

53 percent read fiction, 43 percent read nonfiction. The favorite fiction category is mystery and suspense, at 19 percent.
55 percent of fiction is bought by women, 45 percent by men.
(Source: Publishers Weekly)

About 120,000 books are published each year in the U.S.
(Source: www.bookwire.com)

A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies.
A successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies.
(Source: Authors Guild, www.authorsguild.org)

On average, a bookstore browser spends 8 seconds looking at a book’s front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back cover.
(Source: Para Publishing, www.parapub.com)

Each day in the U.S., people spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.
(Source: Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment banker)”

Good thing you can read more than books at the library!

Do you think this matches your perceptions of reading? It certainly doesn’t ring true with me.

Stephen

Posted on: April 28, 2011, 6:40 am Category: Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. I read several books a month. I guess I’m solely keeping the novelists employed!

  2. Barbara Henry said

    I am seeing the Parapublishing data popping up all over the place–gone viral almost. If you look at his page of statistics it says it has not been updated since 2008 and most of his original sources are much, much older than that some going back to the 1990s. Yet everyone everywhere is citing them as if they were accurate portrayal of current trends.
    http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm

  3. I’m unclear about this statement:
    “Lastly, (and with irony?) “80 percent of the United States population according to a survey by the Jenkins Group.””

    It seems like something is missing there. 80% of US population what? Or is it supposed to be the answer to the question in the title?

  4. Batarang said

    I haven’t read a book from cover to cover for years now. Most of my info comes from magazines (online and print) and blogs (RSS feeds). Usually when I pick up a book (non-fiction) I have specific topics in mind. My fiction reading is practically non-existent…I watch mostly tv and movies for fiction content.