Top 5 American book reading statistics (United States, 2022-2023)

The United States is a nation of bookworms.


In a THGM book-reading survey of 374 American readers, 39% said they read over 20 books in 2022. This is much higher than the world average of 27%.


At the lower end, 25% said they read one to five books. This is much lower than the world average of 32%.

Just 16% of readers in the United States said they read six to 10 books, and 18% read 11 to 20 books in 2022. This is similar to the world average.


A sign that reading is alive and well is that 61% of American book readers plan to read more books in 2023 than they did in 2022. Read on!


Source: https://thgmwriters.com/blog/american-book-reading-statistics-2022-2023-complete-usa-survey-data/#1

American book reading statistics


Americans are buying more books


If Americans are reading so much, it makes sense that authors and publishers are selling more books. In fact, Publishers Weekly reports that sales of print books were up in 2021 by 8.9%, accounting for 825.7 million books. This figure from BookScan, which captures the data from roughly 85% of sales, is an increase from 757.9 million in 2020.


This is no anomaly, either. Sales in 2020 also increased by 8.2% from 2019, accounting for 693.7 million books.

What are people buying most? YA fiction is on the rise, with an increase of over 30%, while adult fiction increased by over 35%. But almost all categories saw increases, across fiction and non-fiction.


Source: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial-reporting/article/88225-print-book-sales-rose-8-9-in-2021.html


Americans are reading fewer books than any time since 1990


So, Americans are reading a lot and buying a lot…but wait. Are they really reading all that much? Not according to Gallup.


In a 2021 Gallup poll, Americans said they read an average of 12.6 books per year. This is the smallest number Gallup has recorded since 1990. Uh-oh. That doesn’t bode well for authors and booksellers.

And it conflicts with both the THGM book-reading survey and the sales figures reported by BookScan. There is no easy-to-find explanation for these conflicting statistics, but it should fuel some interesting debates in the writing and publishing communities.


Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/388541/americans-reading-fewer-books-past.aspx


Gallup book reading poll results


Americans love their eBooks


According to Pew Research, book reading was slightly up in 2021, another conflict with the Gallup numbers. Most interesting is that 30% of American readers reported having read at least one book in electronic format – eBook – over the past 12 months.


Meanwhile, Americans continue to read print books and listen to audio books at roughly a steady pace. In the 2021 survey, 65% of Americans said they read print books in the previous year, and 23% said they listened to an audio book.


Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/01/06/three-in-ten-americans-now-read-e-books/


Americans love their Kindles


Is it eBooks that so attract American book readers, or is it just Kindle? The THGM book-reading survey reports a huge preference for Kindle over all other eBook formats. In fact, 29% of American book readers say that Kindle is their top format, eclipsed only by paperbacks at 34%. Hardcover comes in at 16%, followed by audio books at 9%. All other (non-Kindle) eBooks are the most read format for only 7% of readers.


To put this in perspective, the world overall prefers paperback over Kindle by 41% to 20%, with other eBook formats coming in at 12%. Kindle is popular everywhere, but in the United States it is clearly a dominant force.


Source: https://thgmwriters.com/blog/american-book-reading-statistics-2022-2023-complete-usa-survey-data/#6

Book formats preferred by Americans



How to fall in love with reading again


Whether these American book reading statistics give you cause for concern or reason to hope, there are steps you can take to rekindle your love of reading.


Adventure blogger Chelsea Yell did just that. And she reported on the four techniques she used to fall in love with reading books again:


  • Reread your favorite books
  • Make a realistic goal
  • Start small
  • Jump in with a series

Source :  https://adventureswiththeyells.com/2023/01/24/how-i-fell-in-love-with-reading-again/