Young adults read more than others (though sometimes it's forced on them)


Adults under the age of 30 are more likely to have read a book in the past year than people who are older.

That's according to Pew Research Center, which recently put out its Book Reading 2016 report looking at how often people read, how they read (paper or screen?), and why they read.

Here's some of what it found:

Younger people have read more

A total of 80 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed said they'd read a book in the past 12 months – that's the highest percentage of any of the age groups.

The older groups (30-49, 50-64, and 65+) were all within a few percentage points of 70 percent.

Not surprisingly, those young adults are reading for school or work more often than the older age groups. About 80 percent of the 18-29s said they read a book for school/work. That figure drops off the older you get. Check out the chart here:

Basically all age groups read for pleasure at the same rate.

Paper > e-book or screen

We love our screens, but paper books still dominate when it comes to reading.

When all ages were asked about whether they've read a book in the past 12 months, 73 percent said they'd read a book in any format (print book, e-book, audiobook).

Looking specifically at each format, you see way more print book readers than the others:

  • 65 percent said they'd read a print book in the past year
  • 28 percent said they'd read an e-book during that time
  • 14 percent said they'd listened to an audiobook

That said, the e-book market is growing.

"The share of e-book readers on tablets has more than tripled since 2011 and the number of readers on phones has more than doubled over that time, while the share reading on e-book reading devices has not changed," Pew Research writes.

About 8 percent of Americans said they have a dedicated e-reader (versus a tablet).

In addition, non-whites and people who haven't attended college are increasingly reading on a smartphone.

Very few people though are digital-only, as this pie chart shows.

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