So you've probably heard that print is dying. Unfortunately, some recently-released data reveals that there is truth to this rumor.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released some data on consumer spending on reading materials. If how much people are buying of something is any indication of whether or not it will be around for much longer, things are not looking good for print.
Consumers spent an average of $29.20 on books not bought through book clubs in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since books typically cost between $10 and $30 each, it sounds like people are not buying too many books these days. Where it gets really interesting is the breakdown by age group. Consumers 55 to 64 years old spent the most on books with an average of $40.28 spent in 2013. Those under 25 years old spent the least with an average of $12.56 spent in 2013.
The reality only gets worse when you look at how much consumers spend on newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Consumers overall spent an average of $31.64 on newspaper and magazine subscriptions in 2013. The age group that had the highest spending average were those 75 years and older, shelling out an average of $76.38 on magazine and newspaper subscriptions in 2013. Those 25 years and younger again had the lowest average spending with only $2.79 in 2013.
So printed reading materials are probably on their way out today. However, there is hope for the human race as reading isn't dead yet. A recent survey by the Pew Research Internet Project showed that 88 percent of Americans under 30 had read a book in the past year, compared to 79 percent of those 30 and older.
As you're probably aware, reading is now just being done in a different form. The highly coveted demographic of consumers 25 years and under are buying e-readers, to the tune of an average of $27.73 spent in 2013. That's not the most out of any age group (that title goes to 35 to 44-year-olds who spent an average of $51.73 in 2013), but it's also not a figure too far off from the average for all consumer spending on digital book readers, which was $30.18 in 2013.
This data also only takes into account the reading materials that were purchased by consumers. There's also books being borrowed from the library and those being downloaded for free online that aren't being taken into account here, which means Americans overall are reading more than this data suggests. Well, if we can't keep print alive, let's at least make sure reading lives on forever in some way, yeah?
[H/T Science of Us]