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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Publishing Stats

Not encouraging for those of you who want to write . . .

A third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read a book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

3 Responses to “Publishing Stats”

  1. Steve Clackson says:

    and I’m trying to get published….Doctor can you see me now?

    jb says: Don’t falter, Steve, not one step. Keep it in the post.

  2. Wow those are horrible statistics, not just from a publishing perspective but from a cultural perspective. The statistics though don’t seem to match the popularity of Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the such (although I suppose one could argue those places don’t make their money from books but rather from all the other stuff they sell). My family doesn’t fit the low-reading bill – my husband and I are readers so we spend money on books, love bookstores. We’ll have to see about the kids, whether they’ll carry on with the interest once they get out of high school.

    jb says: Most households with books and reading parents produce reading children, and the habit, once learned, usually sticks around for the duration. It’s the other guys we’re worrying about.

  3. Dick says:

    Christ. I’d be really interested to see data for the UK.

    jb says: There are some interesting stats for the UK on the literacy trust site, though they are not directly related to the American survey:
    In a British survey of 2,000 adults, a third had not bought a new book in the previous 12 months. 34% said they did not read books. (Expanding the Market, Book Marketing Ltd, 2004) More
    Spending on books in Britain has increased by more than £500 million between 1993 and 1999, and is continuing to grow faster than anywhere else in Europe.
    Britons spent more than £2.6 billion a year on books in 1999, with 23% going on paperbacks and the rest on hardbacks.
    The top ten paperbacks in the UK are more expensive than their equivalents in the US and Germany. Average prices November 1999. UK: £6.44, US: £4.45, Germany: £5.76.