Since I started writing for publication, I’ve become more interested in the reading habits of the public. In June, I looked at sales figures for ebooks versus books from traditional publishers. I’ve also explored the correlation between religion and speculative fiction. So when a fellow writer at the Codex Writing Group told me about a new Pew Research Center report (released on October 23rd) that examines the reading habits of “younger Americans,” I simply had to check it out.
The Pew report, Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits, is filled with fascinating information on the reading habits of Americans under the age of thirty. It also compares these “younger’ Americans to “older” Americans, which is just as interesting. The report is broken down into several chapters, including reading habits, library habitats, and most interesting to me, how readers discover and get their books. I’m just beginning to dig into this hefty report, but so far a couple of interesting points have jumped out at me:
• 83% of Americans age 16-29 have read a book in the last year—I’m not sure why this surprises me, but it does. Of these, 75% read that book on paper. I would have guessed both these numbers would have been lower. So, is all that talk about traditionally published books being dead as true as some would like use to believe?
• 52% of young readers did not know you could check out ebooks from the library. You can!?! I didn’t know that. That’s very cool, and I’ll have to look into it.
As I get farther into the report, I’ll post other interesting findings. If you’re interested, however, I recommend you head over to the Pew Research Center website and check out their list of reports Pew is one of those places that does a lot of fascinating research, and you’ll find it’s well worth your time to see what they have to say.