In fact, when tallying up reading times across books, ebooks, newspaper articles and reading websites, the average respondent clocks two hours of reading per day.
Added up over the course of the year, that equates to almost an entire month dedicated to reading.
The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Rakuten Kobo,
found adults aged 25-34 read the most per day – scoring an average of two hours and 52 minutes of wordy consumption.
Yet interestingly, this same generation is the most likely to feel they don’t have enough time to read proper books (63 percent versus 47 percent average).
A lack of time might explain why 26 percent of those studied feel they haven’t managed to read a full book in the past year.
Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn said: “One of the great advantages of digital reading is that your entire library is in the palm of your hand, either via an app or eReader. That means you can fit reading, dare we say quality reading, into unexpected parts of your day. People say they have no time to read, but in fact there are lots of opportunities: While waiting for the kids to hit the football field, waiting for a friend at a restaurant, on the daily commute. These bits of time add up.”
Some of the main barriers to reading more were found to be scrolling through social media (49 percent), playing games on a phone (30 percent) and watching TV shows (29 percent) – all things Americans reported “wasting” their time on.
That’s despite the good intentions being there, as a further 71 percent say they’d like to read more than they currently do.
Sixty-seven percent of respondents say they feel accomplished after finishing a book.
“People say they have no time to read, but in fact many are reading – but it is texts, social media and so on,” said Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn. “The great change to reading culture is the extent to which reading books is now encroached by ad-driven social and other online experiences, with billions being spent to pull people in. Our job is to create the best possible experience with ereaders, apps and as a bookseller, to fight for time for books and reading.”
The survey complemented Rakuten Kobo’s internal figures analysis which, based on downloads and engagement with their e-readers, showed that Americans spend the most hours reading in September – but they actually complete the most books in May.
And Americans are most likely to sit down with a good book on a Sunday.
“Our theory: Sunday really is a day of rest, when we give ourselves a break from errands, chores and tasks. Or perhaps people find that reading is the best way to beat the Sunday blues,” said Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn.
Rakuten Kobo’s bestselling book for the year is “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, which details the presidency of Donald Trump.
“The Age of Anomaly: Spotting Financial Storms in a Sea of Uncertainty” by Andrei Polgar and “Fear” by Bob Woodward are the second and third bestselling, respectively.
Top series include the detective books “In Death” by J.D. Robb, “Jack Reacher” by Lee Child and “Robert Langdon” by Dan Brown.
“Any book lover knows buying is one thing and reading is another. We all have that stack of books on our bedside table waiting to be read,” said Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn. “As a digital company, we can look at the books that were actually read from start to finish, and often, the books people just couldn’t put down are different than the books that sold the most copies.”
The books most completed from start to finish include “Shadow Keeper” by Christine Feehan, “The Thief” by J.R. Ward and “Night Moves” by Jonathan Kellerman.
AMERICANS REPORT “WASTING” THEIR TIME ON…
Scrolling through social media 49 percent
Apps and games on a phone/tablet 30 percent
Watching TV shows 29 percent
Sitting in traffic 28 percent
Constantly checking their phone 26 percent
RAKUTEN KOBO’S DATA SHOWED…
Bestselling books for 2018 are:
1. “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff
2. “The Age of Anomaly: Spotting Financial Storms in a Sea of Uncertainty” by Andrei Polgar
3. “Fear” by Bob Woodward
Top series for 2018 are:
1. “In Death” by J.D. Robb
2. “Jack Reacher” by Lee Child
3. “Robert Langdon” by Dan Brown