Americans aren’t reading

According to Pew Research Center, about a quarter of American adults don’t read books at all. In 2018, Pew released figures suggesting that 24 percent of American adults say they have not read a book — in part or whole, in print or electronically or audibly — in the past year. That is a shocking and abysmal percentage.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that readers ages 15 to 44 read for personal interest for an average of just 10 minutes or less per day! From there, time reading increases with age, with those in the 75 and over group averaging 51 minutes.

The average time reading per day is roughly 16 minutes. Despite the benefits of reading, statistics show we’re reading less and less every year. From 2004 to 2017, the average reading time of Americans dropped by six minutes. And yet a landmark report released today by Common Sense Media finds that teenagers (ages 13-18) use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day and that tweens (ages 8-12) use an average of six hours a day, not including time spent using media for school or homework.

This sad reality is the result of bad parenting coupled with failed public schools. Research from the American Psychological Association shows 80% of teenagers don’t read for pleasure on a daily basis. According to World Atlas, in terms of literacy rate, the USA ranks 125th out of 194 nations. That is horrible for a first-world nation!

This is shocking and disturbing to me because my parents instilled a love of reading in us from a very young age. I remember how thrilled I was to get my first library card at the library in Brentwood when I was 6 years old. As a tween, I read 1 book per day. and as a teen, I read 2 books per day! I am disabled now and so I have a great deal of time to read. I usually read 4-6 hours per day!

2 responses to “Americans aren’t reading”

  1. I remember reading Dr Seuss books in first grade while the other kids were learning how to read! As a poet this is very upsetting to find out that so many aren’t reading at all! I hope that more people read! There’s so much wonderful literature out there!


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