87 Reading Statistics To Gain Insight Into The Industry and Effects of People’s Reading Habits

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Reading can be more than just a hobby. It can be your comfort place, it can give you peace of mind. Let’s not forget building a reading habit as a child helps you to shape your opinions and beliefs. Although, as we grow up we start losing touch with our reading. In reality, we should actually try and read more.

Numerous reading statistics have proven that reading can be crucial for our daily life. Now, trust us and have a look at these statistics maybe it will rekindle the inspiration within you to start reading again.

Not just as a hobby but if you are thinking to become a writer of some kind, these reading statistics can give you an insight into the book reading industry, which can come in handy. How? You can understand what kind of people are reading, what kind of genre these days.

Reading Statistics: Key Findings

Here are some of the fascinating reading statistics:

  1. India ranks at the top for reading the most per week on average: 10 Hours 42 Minutes.
  2. Romance is the most-read genre in the United States followed by mystery and thriller.
  3. Genre is the most popular factor while buying a book whereas the back cover is recorded as the least important factor while buying book.
  4. 14% of US adults can not read. Yes! You read it write.
  5. There is a -7% decline in the US for reading books in the past decade.
  6. Women read more literature than men.
  7. Literary reading is declining actually in all age groups.
  8. The increase in participation in electronic media, like video games correlates with the decline in reading.
  9. 35% of the world read more because of Covid-19.
  10. 1 of every 3 teenagers in the US has not read a book for pleasure.

Statistics on Book Sales and Publishing

Now, if you are thinking to move into the publishing industry, you can get great help from some of these statistics to get an insight into the industry. Here are some of the interesting stats over the recent year in the publishing industry, along with bookstore sales between 2011 and 2021.

Book Store Sales in the US

  1. Sales of print books had an 8.9% increase in 2021.
  2. 80% of fiction sales are accounted for by Women in the US, UK, and Canada.
  3. The largest percentage increase was in the young adult fiction segment: 30.7%.
  4. Bookstore Sales saw a 39% increase in 2021 over 2020.
  5. Bookstore sales have declined by about 45% between 2007 to 2019.
  6. 40% of bookstores got closed during the same span. Taking the tally to 6045 stores in 2019.
  7. 50% of all published books are from education and science.
  8. Globally the book sales were $138.35 billion in 2021 which is expected to be $163.89 billion by 2030.
  9. Online book sales globally were $18.8 billion in 2020.
  10. Online book sales in the United States generated $16.7 billion in 2021.
  11. Book units sold in 2012 were 591 million which increased to 825.8 million in 2021.
  12. Whereas, the book sale is decreasing from 30.9 million in 2012 to 27.9 million in 2021.
  13. The book publishing market is worth $33.3 billion.
  14. Penguin random house generated $3.3 billion in revenue in 2020, the most of any other publishing house.
  15. The book publishing industry had a 0.3% growth in 2022.

Book Sale Statistics By Genre

Different age group likes to read different genre of books. Here are some statistics to related to it:

  1. The romance genre generates $1.44 billion, the most of any genre.
  2. Religious and inspirational books are top in the non-fiction genre with $720 million.
  3. 174,190 units of adult fiction were sold in 2021.
  4. 322,564 units of adult non-fiction were sold in 2021.
  5. 249,788 units of hardcover books were sold in 2021.
  6. Young adult fiction had the most sales% increase from 2020 to 2021.
  7. Graphic novels had a 100% increase in sales in 2020.
  8. Graphic novels sales then rose 65% more in 2021.
  9. Superhero sales had a 2.3% increase in 2021.
  10. Children’s books had a $2525 million market size in 2021.

E-book Statistics

Reading can be done on electronic devices as well these days and hence it has been one of the disruptions in the book publishing industry. Here are some of the statistics to give you an insight into this industry, along with the statistic showing e-book readers in the US.

E-book Readers in the US by Age Group

  1. E-book sales increased by around 30% in 2021.
  2. This industry is projected to reach $17.04 billion in 2022.
  3. It is also expected that the number of e-book readers will increase to 1182.8 million users by 2026.
  4. The United States is expected to generate the most revenue in the e-books industry compared to other countries in 2022.
  5. North America has the highest share of the e-book industry.

AudioBook Statistics

Audiobook is another form of electronic media that enables people to listen to what’s been written in a book. It is also helpful for those who can not read. Here are some statistics for this industry.

  1. The audiobook industry generated revenue of $1.3 billion in 2020.
  2. Audiobook sales increased by around 30% in 2021.
  3. 12% of senior citizens in the US listen to audiobooks.
  4. 22% of men and 25% of women listen to audiobooks in the US.
  5. In 2020, audiobook users listened to 8.1 books on average in the US. 

Why Does Reading Matter?

Reading helps every individual of any age group. It basically helps builds your intellect, you learn new things, and you form your own opinion, your own perspective about things. Along with this, it also helps you form your future and keeps you away from negative thoughts.

It is also recorded that 90% of jobs are actually not available to drop-outs. Regular readers are also said to be a big contributor to society. Reading may be on the decline but only when it comes to reading a physical book. The advancement of electronic media has moved many readers to choose kindle and other forms of reading. Here are the reading statistics comparison between 2019 and 2021 by age group in the US.

Book Readers in the US by Age Group

How Can Reading Benefit You?

Making reading a habit can come in handy for many life skills. It also makes your mind calm and sharp. Here are some statistics and facts to support this claim.

  • Reading reduces stress by 68%.
  • Reading is more effective than listening to music.
  • It is 300% better than walking.
  • Reading slows your heartbeat to normal as it takes away your tension.
  • It also teaches you to cope with difficult situations.
  • You are also able to improve your emotional intelligence.

Child Literacy Statistics Parents Should Know!

As a parent, you must also need to see to it that your child is building a habit of reading. It is very important that he/she develops this habit to grow their knowledge and intellect. Here is something to think about.

  1. 57% of students failed the California standards English test.
  2. ⅓ of the 4th graders reach the proficient reading level.
  3. A child is 90% likely to remain a poor reader at the end of the fourth grade if he/she is a poor reader after the first grade.
  4. 1 in 4 children in the US grows up without learning how to read.
  5. 37% of kindergarten children do not have the necessary skills for lifetime learning.
  6. About 47% of the children between birth and the age of 5 are read to by their family members.
  7. 60%+ of high school seniors read below their grade level.
  8. 1 in every 6 third graders does not graduate from high school on time.
  9. 85% of juvenile offenders face problems reading
  10. 82% of parents encourage their children to read books for fun.

The Socioeconomic and Cultural Impact on Reading

The reading habit is also impacted by socioeconomic and cultural factors. Low-income family is unable to provide their children with the necessary literacy support. Cultural factors also impact the behavior of a child which indeed impacts the grades, presence in the class, and also makes the student feel incompetent. Here are some statistics to show the impact.

  1. 61% of low-income families do not have any books at home for their children.
  2. 50% of low-income families start their children’s first grade 2 years late.
  3. 55% of 4th graders who come from low-income families read below the proficient level.
  4. On average economically depressed households have 0-2 age-appropriate books in their home.
  5. Children from low-income families on average have 60% less cognitive scores compared to the highest socioeconomic groups.
  6. Children from low-income families only get about 25 hours of one-on-one reading compared to 1000-1700 hours of reading for children from middle-class families.
  7. Young adults aged between 16-24 neither go to school nor work.
  8. 52% of Black fourth-grade children score less than the basic reading level.
  9. 45% of Hispanic fourth-grade children score less than the basic reading level.
  10. 23% of white fourth-grade children score less than the basic reading level.

10 Shocking Reading Statistics You Won’t Believe!

It is only when you get into the depth of it, that you understand the situation. It is the same case with reading habits around the world. It is shocking when you realize how today’s development like the internet and electronic media is impacting the reading and development of everyone.

Hours Spent on Reading By Countries

  1. 50% of adults are unable to read an 8th-grade level book.
  2. 45 million US citizens are unable to read above a 5th-grade level book.
  3. Reading 20 minutes a day can expose you to almost 2 million words per year.
  4. 23% of US adults have not read a single book in any format in the year 2020.
  5. 6 out of 10 American households do not buy a single book in an entire year.
  6. The United States ranks 125th out of 194 nations in terms of literacy rate.
  7. The overall book sales in 2020 only declined by 0.2% in spite of Covid-19.
  8. 88% of rich people dedicate 30 minutes or more to reading in a single day.
  9. More than 50% of adults living in poverty do not have a low literacy level.
  10. Reading can reduce mental decline in the elderly by 32%.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can reading improve sleep?

Reading could help with cognitive arousal which indeed can help you sleep for a longer duration with disruption.

2. What are the scientific benefits of reading?

Most importantly, it strengthens your brain connectivity, helps you improve your cognitive ability, it also expands your emotional intelligence, and also improves your ability to empathize.

3. Does reading reduces stress?

Yes indeed, a study proves that reading helps to reduce stress by 68%.

4. Can too much reading affect the brain?

Yes! There should be limited reading, too much reading can affect your productivity.


Reading can be immensely helpful for every individual no matter the age. We hope our statistics were helpful to prove exactly that. Lack of reading could be underdeveloped life skills in an individual.

Additionally, Illiteracy is also a major factor in an increase in students dropping out. Here are some shocking statistics of college dropouts. So keep reading and stay healthy!



About Sam Carlson

He is a journalist and an expert in in-depth research in his field of marketing, branding, e-commerce, and much more. He backs his knowledge and love for writing with many accolades in his field. He joined Shopsavvy in July 2018 as a brand journalist and has been working towards creating awareness through thorough research and listening to people’s opinions.

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