Audience Engagement Digital Publishing Top Stories
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Reading time jumped 21% in the second half of 2020:​​ US report

Among men, time spent reading rose 30%

Total reading time went up by more than 21% in May–December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, according to a survey recently released by the US Department of Labor. 

The biggest increase in time spent reading was recorded among 20- to 34-year-olds, and readers over 65. 

Men increased their daily reading time by 30%, while for women, time spent reading rose 18%.

Among the upper middle class—those in the 50th to 75th percentile of weekly earnings—the jump was an astounding 131%, the longest time spent reading among all groups. 

People with higher education (at least a bachelor’s degree) increased their reading time by 24%.

For further details, you can download the American Time Use survey report

People cultivating a habit of spending more time reading is, of course, good news for publishers, and a direct consequence of more time spent indoors because of the pandemic.

What remains to be seen is how much of this habit is retained, as more time is spent outdoors. 

For now, we can take hope from the fact that the biggest increase in daily reading was seen among the 20- to 34-year-olds. 

As Aristotle said, “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.”