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

A tourist reads a book in Turatao Marine National Park off the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand's Satun province on December 22, 2008. From empty sun loungers at luxury hotels to vacant bar stools in dingy fleshpots, tourism in Thailand is going through its worst slump in decades, a result of the global economic slowdown and its own political turmoil. Picture taken December 22, 2008. To match feature THAILAND-TOURISM/ REUTERS/Arthur Jones Dionio
Reuters/Arthur Jones Dionio
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  • Thu-Huong Ha
By Thu-Huong Ha


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

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.

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