With the new year coming up, I thought it timely to share some statistics relating to reading that have been floating around the internet. As an educator, I am aware that students are less inclined to read for pleasure than they were when I was in school, but some of these numbers startled me.
According to this chart, 33% of high school graduates never read another book the rest of their lives and nearly half of college graduates never read another book after receiving their diploma. Why is this? Is it because of education or despite education that former students lose interest in reading after completing their secondary and postsecondary educations?
The statistic that shocked me the most was that 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year? As an avid reader who burns through 10 to 15 books a year, this was really disturbing. Even during my busiest years when I only manage to read maybe a few books I at least purchased new books for future reading. I have to ask, what’s going on?
As a writer, these statistics are very concerning. What am I writing for? Surely, all of my hard work will not result in my novel sitting alone on a dusty book shelf or worse, never being read. Are the 20% of Americans able to sustain the writers market?
What do these statistics mean to writers? To readers? To educators? Do they mean anything at all? What are your thoughts?