Reading Statistics – How Much do People Read

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As a published author, I believe it’s important to observe the reading statistics. That way we’ll know where we are in the saturated market, whether people prefer paperbacks over Kindle and what are our chances to actually stand out and reach a high-quality audience.

We want our readers to return to us in the future, but we also want them to enjoy in the books they read.

Let’s observe some reading statistics in the US but also all over the world.

Brief overview:

– 81% of adults aged 18-29 have read a book in any format in the previous year, according to reading statistics in the US.

– US literacy ranges from 65% – 85%.

– Paperbacks and hardbacks still remain the preferred formats.

– India, China, Thailand, and the Philippines take the lead in reading hours per week.

ALSO READ: How to Survive a Negative Book Review

reading statistics

Reading Habits in the US

Who will rather pick up a book in the US?


Speaking of reading outside of school or work, women read more than men. US citizens aged 20 – 34 read the least, only 6.6 minutes a day. For comparison, 81% of adults aged 18-29 have read a book in any format in the previous year. What also puts the numbers up are people older than 75 years, as they on average, read for 51 minutes daily.

According to reading statistics in America, rich adults are 3x more likely to read than those who live in households where the income is lower than $30k. Education-wise, college graduates will read 5x more than high school graduates or those with no diploma. People located in the suburban areas read more than those who live in the city.

Book Formats


Audiobooks are taking the lead and growing in popularity. Still, the printed books remain the most popular book format. Hardback and paperback books had a huge market share also, 34.3 and 36.2 percent of total revenues respectively.


People stare at screens daily, it’s become a way of life. Screens are needed for work, so when the time comes for a person to relax, there’s a better way. Printed books are still beating ebooks. That way the reader’s eyes get less tired and they feel more relaxed. Also, there will always be a need to physically own a book and enjoy a bookshelf at home.

Plus, ask any avid reader and they’ll tell you – there’s nothing better than a feel of a paper under the fingertips and the smell of a freshly printed book.

That doesn’t mean that ebooks will cease to exist. As they are more portable and easy to store in a device’s library, readers will still reach out to digital books in times of need.

Literacy statistics


US literacy ranges from 65% – 85%, counted as adult literacy rate, meaning those 15 or older, who can both read and understand a short statement, say literacy statistics for America. About 15% of the population can read at a Bachelor’s degree level and the majority of Americans can read at a 7 or 8-grade level, reading statistics in America say.

Amazon’s list of most well-read cities in America


The results are based on the sales data from cities with more than 500.000 residents. The results include purchases of all books, magazines, and newspapers in both Kindle and print format from April 2015 to April 2016.

  • Seattle, Wash.
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Washington, D.C.
  • San Francisco, Calif.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Tucson, Ariz.
  • Denver, Colo.
  • Albuquerque, N.M.
  • San Diego, Calif.
  • Baltimore, Md.
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • San Jose, Calif.
  • Houston, Texas
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Chicago, Ill.
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Dallas, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas

Shocking reading facts:

– Reading, puzzles, and chess will lead to 2x less chance of developing Alzheimer’s.

– Also, reading out loud to kids is the easiest way to get them to engage with books later in life

– Reading reduces stress by up to 68%

– Children who own a personal library end up having 3 more years of school

– Reading for 20 minutes a day amounts to about 1.8 million words per year

Talking about the benefits of reading!

ALSO READ: 9 Writing and Authors Facts That Might Blow Your Mind

How many books does an average person read?

The answer is 12, though the number might be slightly inflated by avid readers. The real number is closer to a 4.

Let’s see some global reading statistics and facts.

Book Reading Statistics in the World


India, China, Thailand, and the Philippines take the lead in reading hours per week, according to a 2018 reading statistic.

Regarding Europe, the book budget reached 200 euros, which is more than what a person spends on holiday gifts.

In 2018, reading time via mobile devices jumped in Africa by 32%.

New Zealand stats say that 86% of adults have read or started reading a book, and they love poetry.

Estonians are at the top when it comes to a number of books per individual.

Harry Potter is the most borrowed book in Australian libraries.

To Sum Up

Reading is a very important aspect of a society we live in. literacy should serve people not only to read books but to remain informed about the world around them. Overall observed, literacy is on the rise. younger generations are more educated than the ones before, meaning they will be inclined to read more.

Do you have a favorite book? How much do you read per week? What’s the last book you finished reading? Leave a comment below.


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