Americans are still reading, but they're spreading their book consumption habits over an array of formats, according to a new Pew Research survey.

Expand chart
Reproduced from a Pew Research Center report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Book consumption by volume has remained relatively unchanged over the past five years, while consumption of digital and social media consumption has skyrocketed.

Why books are still addicting: "The order of the words are fixed on the page or on the screen, but the speed at which you read them is entirely up to you," writes Will Sehwalbe in A Resource for the Ambitious, from The Wall Street Journal. "Sure, this allows you to skip ahead and jump around, but it also allows you to slow down, savor and ponder."

  • "About three-quarters (74%) of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that's remained largely unchanged since 2012."
  • "Overall, Americans read an average (mean) of 12 books per year, while the typical (median) American has read four books in the past 12 months. Each of these figures is largely unchanged since 2011."
  • "There has been a modest but statistically significant increase in the share of Americans who read audiobooks, from 14% to 18% ... (But) It remains the case that relatively few Americans consume digital books (which include audiobooks and e-books) to the exclusion of print."

Go deeper: Every top New York Times best-seller this year has been about Trump, via CNN's Brian Stelter.

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m. EST: 32,062,182 — Total deaths: 979,701 — Total recoveries: 22,057,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m EST: 6,967,103 — Total deaths: 202,558 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  5. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  7. Science: During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
2 hours ago - Podcasts

The child care tax on America's economy

Child care in the U.S. is in crisis, which makes it much harder for the American economy to recover — as providers struggle to stay in business and parents wrestle with work.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the problems and what can be done to solve them, with Vox senior reporter Anna North.

Viral load is a puzzle in COVID-19

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

How sick a person gets from a virus can depend on how much of the pathogen that person was exposed to and how much virus is replicating in their body — questions that are still open for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: As people try to balance resuming parts of their daily lives with controlling their risk of COVID-19, understanding the role of viral load could help tailor public health measures and patient care.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!