Apr 17, 2018

Don't worry: America still reads books

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

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

Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.