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U.S. Adult Participation in Literary Activities

(12-month period ending Aug. 2002)

Percent of
population
Millions
of people
Read any book56.6%117
Read literature146.796
Read a novel or short story45.193
Read poetry12.125
Read a play3.67
Listened to live or recorded readings of novels or books9.319
Read or listened to poetry14.330
Read poetry12.125
Listened to live or recorded
readings of poetry
5.912
Did personal creative writing7.0%14
Published1.02
Unpublished6.113
Took creative writing classes
or lessons
In past year1.02
Ever13.327
Used Internet to learn about, read, or discuss topics related to literature9.219
1. “Literature” includes novels, short stories, plays, and poetry but not works of nonfiction.
Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, June 2004.

Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Adults Reading LiteratureTrends in Reading and PublishingUse of Individual Media By All 8 to 18 Year Olds