Trends in Book and Literary Reading
Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
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.
|Trends in Reading and Publishing||Family Reading, 1993–2001|