Book Reading: The Implications for Educators

The following statistics about book publishing and reading were found on, this is the Web site of self-publishing guru Dan Poynter. They’ll give you an idea of what you’re up against if you are trying to encourage students to read.

  • 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
  • 70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
  • 70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
    (Source: Jerold Jenkins,
  • 53 percent read fiction, 43 percent read nonfiction. The favorite fiction category is mystery and suspense, at 19 percent.
  • 55 percent of fiction is bought by women, 45 percent by men.
    (Source: Publishers Weekly)
  • About 120,000 books are published each year in the U.S.
  • A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies.
  • A successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies.
    (Source: Authors Guild,
  • On average, a bookstore browser spends 8 seconds looking at a book’s front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back cover.
    (Source: Para Publishing,
  • Each day in the U.S., people spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.
    (Source: Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment banker)