Friday, April 13, 2018

Blog Are We Reading More--or Less? By Jacqueline Seewald

BookBaby looked at the habits of Americans and came to some interesting conclusions from current data. First, younger people appear to be reading more than anyone else. This is certainly good news if true!

Print books are more popular than e-books, defying the predictions of those who predicted print would be dead by now.

Six of the nine top-grossing authors of 2017 were American. Of course, BookBaby has its own axe to grind, but this info is encouraging.

Other articles on this topic are more pessimistic, however. A Huffington Post article referred to the steady decline of reading for pleasure among both adults and children (“The Death of a Booksalesman: Are We Reading Less?”).

According to Pew Research Study published March 23, 2018,
“about a quarter of American adults (24%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form.”
Poorly educated people tend to be non-readers. They also tend to earn less.

Now for the good news: The Statistics Portal observes that the average number of books read by U.S. consumers per year as of April 2017 was 15. This was the total provided by the highest number of respondents, 41%.

 The most avid book readers were those aged 60 and older, as 43 percent of respondents in this age category stated  they read more than 15 books per year. During a worldwide survey among internet users in 17 countries, 30 percent of respondents stated they "read every day or most days." In contrast, just six percent stated that they never read books.

As an avid book reader, lover of magazines as well as newspapers, and also as a writer, I found this encouraging. I will observe, however, that most of what I’ve written remains largely unread.
All I can say is let’s keep reading and writing! Literacy is a privilege not a chore. It makes us better informed as citizens and more empathetic as human beings.

Your thoughts and comments welcome!


Susan said...

Wonderful news! Let's hope this trend continues. Reading really is the most civilized pastime. Susan, aka Janis

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Glad to offer some positive info!

Zari Reede said...

Great topic and one I think about a lot. I used to be an avid reader when I was younger until life became too hectic. Now I am a bedtime reader. We all read daily, but it is usually social media, google, Wickipedia, what have you... I myself get caught up in the need to check accounts to network with readers and authors. I the important question is what is everyone reading and how can we get our book in front of them. Netflix is cornering the market with their own content. I recently saw Will Smith in a Netflix original. I kept thinking the whole time that the writer did a great job. They are looking for books to make into movies, maybe that is where the readers are going. As much as I read, Time is a real issue, so I like to listen to audible when I’m in my car or on the elliptical. Maybe this is a good time to be a novella writer? People have a short attention span and they want non stop action, things that are shocking or too good to be true. I still enjoy books like, The Reader, but does the current generation? I love this topic. Thanks for making my wheels spin this morning.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Zari,

You make some excellent points. Much more reading is done on the internet these days. The attention span of readers is much shorter than ever. People do like TV and audio. I also like to listen to books on audio as I drive. But I love to read novels, magazines and newspapers in print.

jrlindermuth said...

It's encouraging to hear younger people are reading. But it's discouraging so many adults have time to cruise their phones and watch TV but can't find time to read.

Alice Duncan said...

This is really encouraging. I mean, there have been and always will be people who just don't read, but I guess there will always be people who read, too. Yay for them!

Unknown said...

It is encouraging that people are still reading. It is also great that systems now make it easier to self-publish or get your book published. I just think it's a shame those same systems make it difficult for us all to reach readers, and readers to discover good quality authors. The top books are not always the best, and you do need to market, and to market successfully - something I think that doesn't come naturally to most authors, or me, at least :) Thanks for the post Jacqueline x

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi John,

I do see people using their smart phones constantly, but not spending time reading. And yes, I find it discouraging as well.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


You do have a large following for your novels and deservedly so.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Mollie,

Successful marketing is very complex and time-consuming. Unfortunately, it takes time and energy away from actual writing. Yet publishers have laid this upon the writers in today's times.

Irene Bennett Brown said...

I could not survive without books. I'm in the midst of reading a novel nearly every day of my life. Because of sight problems, I read from both a Nook and a Kindle. If I'm desperate, I'll read a print book with a magnifying glass.

I'm happiest writing my novels, and reading others'. Can't imagine anything else.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


I'm in agreement with you. You might try borrowing the large print books the libraries offer as well. Easy on the eyes and the pocketbook.

Susan Coryell said...

I do believe reading is alive and well where I live. Yes--most are "senior citizens," but book clubs abound; I myself am in two clubs accounting for some 20 books to read per year.
Thanks for a thoughtful post!

Mary Schoenecker said...

I’m glad I’m in that “over 60 avid readers slot”, but sad about my tech oriented grandchildren.
mary F Schoenecker

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Susan,

Book Clubs are a great way to continue interest in reading. Senior Citizens do have more time to read, of course.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Mary,

I know what you mean about children. They seem to be physically attached to their tech devices. It does concern me.

Carole Price said...

I'm a senior citizen who has less time to read. I devote a lot of time to my police volunteer job, writing, and those darn, but necessary, social media sites. That said, I read with breakfast and lunch, and in between when I feel too lazy to tend to other matters. I feel the need to read. I love visiting our library.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Carole,

I love visiting the library as well. It's the best bargain there is. So many great books and magazines are available. You are definitely a busy lady.

Bonnie Tharp said...

You've shared some interesting statistics and some encouraging ones, too. Thanks, Jacqui. I am encouraged.

And, I read every day.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Bonnie,

Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad to offer something positive to fellow writers.

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