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Study finds that more than a quarter of Americans haven't even cracked open a book in the past year


Not 'haven't finished a book,' haven't read even part of one at all

Eddy Buttarelli/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A new study issued by the Pew Research Center reported that more than a quarter of American adults had not even read part of a book within the past year.

What did the study say?

According to Pew, "[r]oughly seven-in-ten U.S. adults (72%) say they have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012." That leaves 27 percent who reported not reading at least some of a book in the 12 months before the survey (1 percent either said that they did not know or refused to answer).

Most of those who had read books (65 percent) said that they had read a book in print.

Not surprisingly, the numbers reflected education level. Ninety percent of college graduates said that they had read at least part of a book, compared to 75 percent for people with some college, 61 percent for high school graduates, and 32 percent for those who hadn't finished high school.

Some of America's best readers are young people. According to Pew, U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 29 were more likely to read a print book (74 percent) and more likely to read an e-book (34 percent) than their counterparts in any age group. The group one age bracket above them (30-49) were more likely to listen to an audio book. The group that read the least fell in the 50-64 percent range, where 67 percent said that they had read a book and only 59 percent saying that book was in print.

Women also reported reading books more often than men (76 percent to 67 percent).

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (part of the U.S. Department of Education), roughly 78 percent of U.S. adults have at least a basic level of literacy (as of 2003), with only 13 percent achieving a "proficient" level.

The survey for this study was conducted between Jan. 8 and Feb. 7 of this year.

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