Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Teen Reading Statistic Ridiculousness

This morning I was wishing (again) that I could just curl up with a good book and read all day, just for fun. I remember doing that so often in the summer when I was a kid. I had one of those miniature Jennifer Convertibles in my room, and I'd sit there all day long, squished up between the arms, a stack of novels next to me, and just read and read and read. Sometimes I'd go sit outside, stretched out on a towel, but wherever I was, there was a back.

Sure, back then, we had video games, television, all that jazz, and yes, I'd go play outside, too, but most days, I could be found huddled right in that spot. I was a little book nerd then and still am today, and while it wasn't super common for kids to do that in the summer, it wasn't nearly as uncommon as it is now. According to a new study by the Labor Department, teens only read an average of 4.2 minutes in a weekend nowadays.


GalleyCat tells us more:
Americans between the ages of 15 and 19 spend an average of 4.2 minutes of their weekends and holidays reading, according to new research from the Labor Department. 
The research revealed that 20 to 24 year olds spend an average of 10.2 minutes reading on weekends and 55 to 64 year olds spend a whopping 26.4 minutes on weekend days reading. For the most part, the average time spent reading goes up with age, except among 25 to 34 year olds who only spend an average 7.8 minutes reading on weekends. 
Vox Media has more: “The oldest Americans, meanwhile, read for more than an hour a day. These data only include reading for fun, however, which may be why the count for the student-age population is strangely low.” 
See the original post HERE

My mind boggles.

1 comment:

  1. I am always so suspicious of stats like this. How were they determined? How many teens (and adults) of what circumstances were surveyed? I don't put much credence in anything that views 1000 people a reasonable sampling of hundreds of millions.

    Of course, anecdotally speaking, we can see the evidence for why this is. My 15-year-old loves books and will binge read, but also goes long stretches without reading. She splits her time between watching the Cleveland Indians, Wimbledon, and the World Cup and playing her viola, guitar, and piano.

    My 19-year-old always read much more. (She'd better; she's a writing major!) But she's also been watching OITNB and catching up on Gray's Anatomy and playing sudoku when she's not at the health club or working. So we know there is a lot of competition for "leisure" time, just by looking around.

    But then, back in my teen years, when I was holed up in my own bedroom devouring book after book...I didn't know ANYONE who was like me. None of my friends were big readers. So has anything really changed? Who knows?!