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Majority of Americans Have Read a Book in the Past Year

Did you read a book last year? If so, a new study says you’re in good company – for now. While the majority of Americans have read a book in some form (print, eBook, etc.) within the past 12 months, the number of non-readers has grown since last year.

The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center, one of the most respected institutions of its kind. The 2015 edition of the survey indicates that 72% of American adults have read a book (in any form, including both print and eBook) in the past year. 28% of American adults can’t say the same.

The reading figures are down since the 2011 edition of the same survey. In 2011, 79% of American adults said they’d read a book in the past twelve months.

The voracious readers help make up for the non-readers: the average number of books read by an American this year was 12, which is pretty high considering the number of non-readers. Millennials out-read their parents, and women out-read men. Check out the complete breakdown on the Pew Research Center’s site!

The survey also found a decline in the consumption of printed books (as opposed to e-books). In 2011, 71% of Americans had read a print book in the prior year. That percentage declined to 69% in 2014 and 62% in 2015.

However, the decline in print books doesn’t seem much more steep than the overall decline in reading. That meshes well with the current perception in the publishing industry that the eBook and print markets are fairly stable. It doesn’t look like eBooks will be killing off print books anytime soon!