Trends in Book and Literary Reading
The percentage of adult Americans reading literature has dropped dramatically over the past 20 years. “Literature” includes novels, short stories, plays, and poetry but not works of nonfiction.
| ||U.S. adult population||Rate of decline|
|Number of literary readers (in millions)||96 ||100 ||96 || |
|Percentage reading literature||56.9%||54.0%||46.7%||–14%|
|Percentage reading any book||n.a.||60.9||56.6||–7 |
Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, June 2004.