According to the most recent American Time Use Survey, leisure reading in the United States has hit an all-time low. Since 2003, the overall percent of people aged 15 and older reading for pleasure on any given day has dropped from 28 to 19 percent. And the decline in reading among people ages 65+ isn’t any less dramatic.
It’s easy to blame the proliferation of digital devices for the decline of reading among younger generations, but how about among more mature audiences? Have we replaced reading books with watching television (as a long-term study from the Netherlands suggests), or does the reason have less to do with other media types and more to do with either a lack of time or maybe compromised eyesight?