Who’s reading in America?

Statistics posted by Betsy on the blueboards…sparking a lively discussion!  Yay!

“A recent survey showed that more than eighty percent of Americans (82%) want to write a book. This extraordinary statistic is somewhat puzzling considering that the National Endowment for the Arts estimates that only fifty-seven percent of Americans have read even 1 book in the last twelve months!

“For the estimated 2 million manuscripts currently completed, there are only 64,000 publishers of record, and only a fraction of those are actively seeking new manuscripts.

  • “Big publishers accept about one manuscript in two thousand, for publication. In the U.S.A.”
  • 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42 percent of college graduates never read another 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.
  • 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
  • 70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
  • 70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.

(Source: Jerold Jenkins, www.JenkinsGroupInc.com)

  • 53 percent read fiction, 43 percent read nonfiction. The favorite fiction category is mystery and suspence, at 19 percent.
  • 55 percent of fiction is bought by women, 45 percent by men.

(Source: Publishers Weekly)

  • About 120,000 books are published each year in the U.S.

(Source: www.bookwire.com)

  • A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies.
  • A successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies.

(Source: Authors Guild, www.authorsguild.org)

  • On average, a bookstore browser spends 8 seconds looking at a book’s front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back cover.

(Source: Para Publishing, www.parapub.com)

  • Each day in the U.S., people spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.

So, what about you?  Writing?  Reading?  Both?  Neither?  Watching TV?  Sleeping?

Me…probably write for an hour, if I’m allowed.  Read a book for about an hour, magazines half that.  Watch TV…a couple of hours for sure, but that includes bleary-eyed, coffee-drinking, couch-sitting, early morning viewing of Arthur or Blue’s Clues.

Makes you think, though.


One thought on “Who’s reading in America?

  1. wow, those statistics are staggering! me, i read and read and read! books, magazines, boston.com, a mom’s world, jackson hole daily…. you name it i read it!!

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