I love to read. There are times when I’d swear reading about people’s vacations are theoretically more exciting than if I’d been the one vacationing. Not all books are this powerful, of course, but there are few ways I would rather spend an hour of free time than judging a book by more than just its cover. As it happens, I fit into a majority of the book-reading demographic, lest a decade of Internet commentary force me to believe the population considers reading and spelling elective skills.
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, whose study compiled the reading habits of nearly 3,000 Americans from November-December 2011, people follow the same reading patterns, regardless of urban, suburban or rural residency. Of course, determining factors such as income, education, and access to the Internet and libraries all play their predictable roles, especially when it comes to reading in electronic formats, but the margin isn’t as wide as I’d have expected. To be expected, the higher-income, higher-education suburbanites held the highest percentage in most areas, while rural folks, with less libraries and broadband connections, held onto the low percentages.
I’ll mention a few interesting tidbits from the survey, which can be seen in its entirety below. Oddly, less reading among rural residents on the whole did not mean each reader read less, as the mean and median of book read among all three groups was consistent. Less surprising is that people read more for pleasure than research, and more city-based people read to learn about current events. Oddly, eight percent to fourteen percent of people from all three groups found libraries to be important to them and their families, but they didn’t even have a library card. Less surprising is that suburban and urban dwellers own more electronic devices to utilize reading on – around 20 percent as compared to 15 percent -though for all three groups, 92 percent use their e-books for reading. Why do the other eight percent even own them?
As a blog-filled website, we obviously put a lot of stock into people’s fervor for the written word, and we thank everyone who chooses to spend their time here. When’s the last time you curled up with a good book?