There’s good news for book lovers and Little Free Library stewards, according to a national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center last month. More people are reading, and printed books—the kind you can stick a bookmark in—are here to stay. Here are the key findings about America’s reading habits:
- 76 percent of adults, age 18 and older, read a print book, e-book, or audiobook over the past twelve months, up from 74 percent at the end of 2012.
- 69 percent of adults (about seven in ten) read a print book in the last year, up from 65 percent.
- 28 percent of adults read an e-book, up from 23 percent.
- 14 percent of adults listened to an audiobook.
- The “typical American adult” read or listened to five books last year, while the national average (including the bookworms) was twelve.
- 87 percent of e-book readers also read print books. Just 4 percent read only e-books.
Another survey finds that young people age 16 to 24 like hardcovers and paperbacks more than Kindles and Nooks, too. According to British marketing agency Voxburner, 62 percent prefer print books to e-books. Some of their reasons included “I want full bookshelves,” “I like the smell,” and “I love the feeling of holding a book in hand and seeing the creases in the spine when I’m done.”
What about you? Do you prefer to flip the pages of a print book or is an e-reader more your style? How many books did you read last year? Tells us in the comments section below. For extra credit, head over to Book Riot to take their survey.
Margret Aldrich is a writer and editor in Minneapolis currently at work on a book about Little Free Libraries, to be published by Coffee House Press in 2015. Keep up with Margret and the book on Twitter: @mmaldrich, @lflbook.