How Many Books Did You Read in 2013?

Book Riot recently published the results of poll of its followers on questions around their reading habits in 2013. Here is what they discovered:

Responses: 2483 (overall)

Mean-Average of books read: 75

Median number of books: 50

Respondents read anywhere between 2 and 1500 books!

Nearly 75 percent read e-books this past year

Print books still outweigh e-books by roughly 70 to 30 percent read.

Book Riot connects predominantly with an 18-35 year old college-educated constituency. Compare their numbers with a Pew study that found the mean average of books Americans read is 12 with a median average of 5 in a year.

One of the things these numbers suggest to me is that there is a big gulf in reading between a small cadre’ of people who really read a lot, and the vast majority who read little. There are some questions this basic gulf raises for me:

1. Was it always this way or is the gulf widening?

2. Do numbers tell the whole story? What are we reading? Is there greater worth in reading one great work of fiction than fifty romance novels?

3. How much time are people spending in any type of reading? Are we reading more online posts, magazine articles?

4. While we know that more are reading on tablets and e-readers, and even smartphones, does this translate into any more books being read?

I participated in the Book Riot poll. My own totals were 121 books read and for me it was roughly an 80% to 20% split between print and e-books.  I’d be curious for those of you who track such things, what were your reading numbers like in 2013 and what are you observing about how you read?

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