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Nearly Three Out of Four American Consumers Read or Listened to a Book in the Past Six Months

A new survey report from NPD shows that almost three-quarters of consumers in the USA reported reading a book or listening to an audiobook in the past six months.

This is great news for bibliophiles, but it comes with a caveat: survey respondents reported reading roughly 9% less this year than last, with the steepest drop off reported among Baby Boomers between the ages of 45 and 54.

More than half of respondents reported reading a print book in the past six months, while only one-quarter read an ebook. (NPD has not disclosed a figure for those who listened to an audiobook).

I can add that survey respondents who read books also reported spending 10% more time this year than they did last year listening to other forms of audio, including podcasts and music. When asked why they are focused on listening, respondents cited the ability to multi-task as a key factor.

“The preference for print books over e-books is especially true for kids’ books,” said Kristen McLean, books industry analyst, NPD Bookscan. “Parents value the lap time print books offer, which is a wonderful way for parents to bond with their children and foster a love of reading early on. They also view print books as an offset to screen time, in our increasingly connected world.”

image by Seniju via Flickr

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Xavier Basora September 28, 2019 um 4:37 am


Does the survey take into account indie publishing? The genres people read/listen to?

Because when you noted the 9% drop from last year raises many further research questions.



Disgusting Dude September 28, 2019 um 9:33 am

It’s all meaningless until they research the demographics and habits of readers.
Just counting "readers" by lumping together toddlers, K-12, college students, heavy readers, and once-a-year casual readers and travelers says nothing meaningful.
Beyond that, failing to distinguish voluntary reading for entertainment from textbooks and manuals just obscures the real trends. Purposefully.
No need to bother trying to read those tea leaves.

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