76% of U.S. adults read a book in the past year

Pew_e-reading

Image credit: Pew Internet

E-reading continues to grow in popularity among US adults, but print reading still rules, according to recent study results from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) adults reported reading an e-book in the past year, up from 23% in 2012. But 7 in 10 (69%) adults read a print book in the past year. In fact, the “e-book” only crowd remains small, at just 4% of readers.

Across all formats, 76% of adults read a book in the past year. Of those who did read a book in the previous 12 months, the average number read was 16 (the median number was 7). Women and those with higher income and education levels were more likely to have read a book in the past year.

So what about e-books? Of those who read a book in the past year, younger adults and those in urban and suburban areas were more likely to have read e-books than those 65 and older or in rural areas. E-readers and tablets are the devices of choice for e-book readers, with 57% of them using e-readers and 55% using tablets to read e-books (compared to 41% using e-readers and just 23% using tablets in 2011). These trends mirror larger device ownership trends, with half of Americans now having a dedicated handheld device for reading electronic media—up from 43% in September 2013.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

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