According to a HuffPost/YouGov poll asking 1,000 U.S. adults about their reading habits, 41 percent of respondents had not read a fiction book in the past year; 42 percent had not read a nonfiction book.
There's overlap between the groups -- 28 percent of respondents did not read a book at all in the past year, while 25 percent read between one and five books, 15 percent read between six and ten books, 20 percent read between 11 and 50, and eight percent read more than 50.
Not all of the results are disheartening, especially for bookstore devotees, who should be encouraged by the fact that 50 percent of respondents spent time in the past week reading a physical book, while only 19 percent spent time reading an e-book. The complete results are below:
During the past 12 months, about how many fictional books, such as novels, did you read? (include print and e-books, but not audiobooks)
During the past 12 months, about how many nonfiction books, such as history books or how-to books, did you read? (include print and e-books, but not audiobooks)
During the past 12 months, about how many total books did you read? (include print and e-books, but not audiobooks)
In the past week, did you spend any time reading a print book?
In the past week, did you spend any time reading an e-book?
The benefits of reading are paramount, and we don't just mean to those still in school. Mental stimulation can potentially slow Alzheimer's, and can actually enhance your memory; Expanding your vocabulary, thereby making you an articulate speaker, is an asset at any job; Reading even helps you empathize with other people, and other cultures.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a book -- fiction or non -- and get to work! Or, you know, play.
Stumped on where to begin? We've got plenty of recommendations. For starters, here are 30 books we think you should read before you're 30, and 20 books we think every New Yorker (or lover of New York City) should read.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Sept. 27-28 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.
The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.