Today is National Read a Book Day

Posted at 9:09 AM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 09:09:45-04

National Read a Book Day is a celebration of the written word. Good storytelling never goes out of style, but the ways we enjoy books has evolved.

Americans now have access to e-books on tablets, smartphones and e-readers.  There are of course books in print and audio books. 

A survey by Pew Research shows while the popularity of books in other formats continues to increase, print books still continue to the most popular format. 

About 73 percent of Americans have read any book in the past year.  In that time, 65 percent of Americans enjoyed a book in print, 28 percent read an e-book and 14 percent listened to an audio book.

Overall, the number of people reading books in any form has been relatively constant since 2012.  The average (mean) of Americans read about 12 books a year, but the typical American has read four books in the last year. 

About a quarter of citizens haven’t read any books.

Only 6 percent of Americans read books solely in digital format. 


The study also looked at demographics. 

Women seem to out-read the men a bit overall, and they’re more likely to read books in print, but men and women are equally likely to read e-books and audio books.  College educated people and those with a higher income tend to read more according to the study. 

Even though about half of books read are for work or school, it’s overall more common that books are read for pleasure, to keep up with current events or to research specific topics of interest.

Sept. 6 is considered National Read a Book Day.  Regardless of the reason you read, experts say there are benefits to picking up a book, including improving memory, encouraging you to exercise longer while you read, decreasing your stress and improving your vocabulary.