Who Doesn’t Read Books In America?: Critical Linking, March 29, 2018

Critical Linking is sponsored by Tomorrow by Damian Dibben, new from Hanover Square Press.


About a quarter of American adults (24%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form. Who are these non-book readers?

Several demographic traits correlate with non-book reading, Pew Research Center surveys have found. For instance, adults with a high school degree or less are about five times as likely as college graduates (37% vs. 7%) to report not reading books in any format in the past year. Adults with lower levels of educational attainment are also among the least likely to own smartphones, even as e-book reading on these devices has increased substantially since 2011. (College-educated adults are more likely to own these devices and use them to read e-books.).

None of the statistics are especially surprising, given the demographics least likely to read are those least likely to have leisure time for it. But also: 76% of adults in America read a book last year

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THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part television and online series designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us. The series will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books. Audiences are encouraged to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles.

THE GREAT AMERICAN READ premieres Tuesday, May 22 at 8/7c on PBS stations with a launch special, kicking off a summer of reading and voting. Then in the fall, seven new episodes of the series will air as the quest to find America’s most beloved book moves into high gear. Episodes from the series will feature appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors, and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book.

There’s a trailer for this upcoming book PBS show. 

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While a great novel can be engaging, there’s nothing quite like a true story—whether that story comes in the form of deep reporting, memoir, or personal essays. Nonfiction gives us the chance to look at the world around us and learn something about how we fit within it. And nonfiction also tells us a lot about ourselves. Here are the best nonfiction books of 2018.

Add a bunch of new nonfiction to your TBR

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