One in four Americans didn’t open a book last year

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Image: Reuters/Arthur Jones Dionio
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Americans show no signs of speeding up—or slowing down—on reading.

Each year, Pew Research polls the US on its book reading habits. This year’s results, published Sept. 1, show that the portion of adults who read at least one book in the last year stayed the same as the previous year, 73% compared to 72% in 2015.

People kept on keeping on, across formats, with only a 1-2% change from 2015 in participants who said they read a print book in the last year (65%), those who read an ebook (28%), and those who listened to an audiobook (14%).

On average, Americans are reading 12 books annually, just like last year.

This should come as some comfort to the panicked print-lovers who thought ebooks might bring about a decline in print reading. Sales of traditionally published ebooks last year declined, while print book sales rose in the US. Those dynamics are complicated, however, by the boom in adult coloring books, usually lumped in with print books, as well as the fact that mainstream industry data doesn’t capture the self-published ebook market.