book-reading-2016

Image credit: Pew Research

A recent Pew survey found that print books remain the most popular method of reading books, despite more options like e-books and audiobooks that are readily available. The results presented in this report came from an annual survey started in 2011 to measure book reading among American adults.

In the past year nearly three-quarters (73%) of American adults report reading at least one book. Out of the people surveyed, about two-thirds (65%) have read a print book in the last year. This is more than double the number of people who reporting reading an e-book (28%), and more than four times the number that reporting listening to an audiobook (14%). The share of people using e-books and audiobooks to consume book content has also remained stable in recent years.

The number of books American adults read per year, in any format, has also remained steady since 2011. In the last year, Americans read an average (mean) of 12 books per person, while the typical (median) American read 4 books.

Americans reported reading books for varying reasons over the past year. More than 4 in 5 (84%) respondents said that they read to research specific topics of interest, 10% more than in 2011. A similar number (82%) read to keep up with current events, and nearly half (47%) of these respondents did so every day. Eighty percent of respondents also reported that they read for pleasure, which is exactly the same share as 2011. About 3 in 5 (57%) respondents reported that they read for work or school.

For more information, you can find the full Book Reading 2016 report here.