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The Decline of the American Book Lover - Jordan Weissmann - The Atlantic

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i love books.

The Pew Research Center reported last week that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. As in, they hadn't cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.

Aha, so 75 percent of Americans HAVE read a book in the last year. That sounds pretty good.

I love books too.

So here's some good news:

It's true that those highly educated young adults aren't reading that many books today. The average 18-to-29 year old finishes nine per year, compared to 13 among older American. But according to the National Endowment for the Arts, teens and twenty-somethings have almost always read less than older adults.

Most importantly, the percentage of young folks reading for pleasure stopped declining. Last year, the NEA found that 52 percent of 18-24 year-olds had read a book outside of work or school, the same as in the pre-Facebook days of 2002. If book culture were in terminal decline, this is the demographic where you'd expect it to be fading fastest. Perhaps the worst of the fall is over. 

Seems stable to me.

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