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Ordinary Kids Read As Infrequently As Ordinary Adults: Less Than 5 Books Per Year

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A Frequent reader, age 6-11, reads about 44 books per year, while an Infrequent reader reads only around 22. And that difference increases substantially as kids get older. Infrequent readers, age 12-17, only read 4.7 books a year.

since 1984 “the percent of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers went down from 70% to 53%, and the percent of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers went from 64% to 40%.

Maybe we should be more worried about how smart phones and social media impact grown-up reading habits than we should be worried about the way video games and cartoons impact children. According to Pew’s 2013 Snapshot of Reading in America, the average (mean) adult reads only 12 books—significantly less than a 6-11 year old Infrequent reader (22 books). But averages can be misleading. When you consider the median, Pew’s snapshot reveals that half of Americans read less than five books per year. All of which seems to suggest to me that Infrequent Readers age 12-17, who read 4.7 book per year, are shaping up to be ordinary American adults.

Reading in America has been largely supplanted by Television, Internet, and Smart Phones.

For better and for worse.

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