A new Associated Press-Ipsos poll, released today, found that 27 percent of Americans didn’t read a single book in the past year.
One in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.
The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year — half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who hadn’t read any, the usual number read was seven.
I start each new year with the idea and firm resolve that I’ll record all the books I read that year. This usually lasts until about February or March. I read too many books for it to be practical to write them all down, I guess. Last calendar year, I didn’t read many books at all. My job was very time consuming and exceedingly stressful. I couldn’t relax when I picked up a book (even though the rest of my life reading fiction has been a great escape) last year. Then again, I couldn’t relax much at all last year. This year, I had completed five books before January ended. This is much more typical of my life.
The report states that 20 percent of people read romance novels. This is less than the number of people who reported reading mysteries, popular fiction, histories and biographies. However, that 20 percent is also higher than the percent of respondents who said they read classical literature or poetry. That, in each case, was less than 5 percent.
Read the full CNN article here. It has stats on what books people read, and further breaks down who’s reading (and who’s not).
What does this mean for writers? On a larger scope, what does it mean for society?
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.