Young Americans Are Readers!

This falls into the category of good news for writers, editors and designers: Young Americans are readers, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.

“More than eight in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. At the youngest end of the spectrum, high schoolers in their late teens (ages 16-17) and college-aged young adults (ages 18-24) are especially likely to have read a book or used the library in the past 12 months,” says the report.

That’s more than the average American.

Also of note is the number of Americans who’ve read e-books. According to the report, “72% of Americans read at least one print book in the past year; 16% read at least one e-book; 11% listened to at least one audiobook.”

I think that says that the e-book market has huge growth potential. So now is a smart time to figure out this publishing format and get in on it in the early days. Here’s our latest post offering some guidelines on how to do it: From Columnist to E-Book Author.

It’s true that greater readership among young Americans than the average may have a lot to do with fact that people under the age of 30 have more time than, say, those of us in the throes of the child-rearing years. Yet the results run directly counter to the fears of people who’ve said that the Internet would destroy people’s capacity to absorb long storylines. Not long ago, I downloaded the Gutenberg Elegies (on, what else, my e-reader, a Nook) to consider the validity of that viewpoint. I’ll let you know what I think!

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