Book sales are up this year over last year, and physical books are thriving


It’s a tale as old as time, or, at least, the internet: None of us are reading any more, the physical book is dead, Amazon has killed the independent bookstore, and it’s all only going to get worse. But this year, the story looks like just that—a fiction. We are buying books—especially the kind with physical pages—and we’re doing so, increasingly, in well-loved indie bookstores.

In the UK, the Guardian reports, Nielsen BookScan recored year-on-year book sale growth of 22 million pounds ($28 million). It’s likely that 2018 will top 2016’s total sales of 1.59 billion pounds, too, with booksellers on both sides of the Atlantic noting an anecdotal uptick in sales and browsing customers. It’s been good news for British book chains—the country’s largest bookseller, Waterstones, made its first profit since the 2008 financial crisis—and for independent bookshops, too: this year was the first since the advent of Amazon where the number of stores actually went up, rather than down.

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Pew report finds Millennials are avid readers and library users

millennials reading

Forty-three percent of Millennials say that they read a book in some format (print, audiobook, or ebook) every day.

Lisa Peet:  In September, the Pew Research Center Internet Project issued a new report on the library habits of Americans under 30. “Younger Americans and Public Libraries” examines the ways Millennials engage with libraries, and how they see libraries’ roles in their lives and communities. The good news is that young people are reading as much as older adults, and are even more likely to have read a book in the past 12 months. Also, their library use is holding steady. Nonetheless, the report warns, their levels of engagement vary in a number of ways.



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Spritz is a new speed reading technology that lets you read 1000 wpm


Spritz is a new speed reading technology that is set to make its debut in April. The new technology makes it easy for users to read as quickly as 1,000 words per minute by focusing users’ eyes on a single word at a time. The company says its technology places each word at the optimal location on the screen, ensuring users can rapidly recognize them.



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Scientists reading habits may be leveling off

scientist reading

Scholarly articles in digital forms overtook printed ones, but survey suggests increase in reading may have reached a peak.

A 35-year trend of researchers reading ever more scholarly papers seems to be leveling off. In 2012, US scientists and social scientists estimated that they read, on average, 22 scholarly articles per month (or 264 per year). That is, statistically, not different from what they reported in an identical survey last conducted in 2005. It is the first time since the reading-habit questionnaire began in 1977 that manuscript consumption has not increased.



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The decline of reading in America

books library

The American bookworm is a rarer species than two or three decades ago.

Nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year, according to to a report from the Pew Research Center last week. As in, they hadn’t cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.



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Our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming: Neil Gaiman

Libraries and librarians need to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur.

Neil Gaiman gives The Reading Agency annual lecture on the future of reading and libraries. He explains why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens.



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Next Generation Literacy


“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who can’t read & write,
but those who can’t learn, unlearn & relearn.” – Alvin Toffler

Futurist Thomas Frey:  So what is literacy?

The first time I listened to an audio book I thought I was cheating. As a child, reading for me seemed like a lot of work, and my teachers kept piling on more reading assignments, continually feeding into the notion that reading is hard work.


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e-Books Could Lead to a “Reading Divide”


“If reading becomes dependent on technology that must be purchased, then I think we may see the literacy divide persist and even widen.”

The rapid rise of e-books could lead to a “reading divide” as those unable to afford the new technology are left behind, even as U.S. reading and writing skills decline still further.


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