Annual Readership Decreasing in United States

A member of the Yeshiva Meon Hatorah board in Spring Valley, New York, Lakewood resident Avrahom Joseph enjoys staying active by playing tennis and baseball. Avrahom Joseph, an avid reader, also likes to relax with a good book.

The benefits of reading every day are well documented and range from added knowledge to improved memory. Unfortunately, the portion of Americans who go an entire year without reading a single book has risen dramatically over the past few years.

According to a series of polls conducted by Gallup and Pew, only 8 percent of Americans failed to read a book over the course of 1978. By 1990, that figure had doubled, though the number decreased to 13 percent in 1999 and 2001. However, Pew reported that in 2011, the number of Americans who had not read a single book climbed to 18 percent of the population. In both 2012 and 2014, that figure held at 23 percent, nearly a quarter of the population.

The Americans population’s growing disinterest in literature can be seen in a number of different studies. Following another Gallup poll, 42 percent of Americans in 1978 claimed to have read at least 11 books over the past year, with another 17 percent having read between 6 and 10. In 2014, only 28 percent of Americans had read 11 books or more, a number slightly higher than those who had not read at all.

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