Survey Finds How Many Books An Average Person Reads A Year

(MENAFN- SWNS Digital)

By Aleksandra Vayntraub // SWNS


Nearly six in 10 (57%) Americans have bought or read a book based solely on its cover, new research suggests.

A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults found that surprisingly, a whopping 96% of those who did so said the book largely met their expectations.

Two-thirds (67%) also admitted they only read books that have been adapted into movies or TV shows.

Overall, the average person reads eight books a month, totaling almost 100 books a year.

However, eight in 10 (80%) admitted to avoiding a book because of its outward appearance.

The top reasons? The book cover looked too plain (61%), used a title font that wasn't likable (56%), featured art that didn't match the genre (52%) or used the movie poster of the book's film adaptation (49%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ThriftBooks , the research also found which elements make the best book covers.

People noted a detailed illustration is important (53%), as is an image of the story's setting (53%). Other callouts were a compelling color palette (50%) and an image of the protagonist (47%).

Respondents shared their favorite covers of the books they've read, including“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill,“Atomic Habits” by James Clear,“Misery” by Stephen King,“Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling, the“Twilight” series by Stephanie Meyer,“Fifty Shades of Gray” by E. L. James, and books by Danielle Steel.

When it comes to the winter holidays, over half (53%) regularly give books as gifts to others.

The top genres for gifted books include romance (47%), fantasy (45%), comedy (40%), sci-fi (39%) and history (39%).

Surprisingly, though, the biggest factors that influence what type of books people buy as gifts are their presence on a well-known bestseller list (44%), social media buzz (29%) and the cover (29%) - much more so than genre (10%) or even the author (9%).

“Books make for a great holiday gift, no matter the recipient,” said a spokesperson for ThriftBooks.“From classic favorites and book-to-movie adaptations to short or long stories, there are as many books to choose from as there are types of readers, making it easy to find something for everyone on your list this holiday season.”

Additionally, the survey uncovered the different habits of day and night readers.

If you consider yourself an avid reader, you most likely read during the day rather than at night (88% vs. 69%).

Among day readers, nearly two-thirds (65%) attribute their preference to avoiding nightmares based on their reading material, while over half (52%) want to escape to another place during the day.

Day readers are also more likely than night readers to prefer to read while surrounded by others (49% vs. 36%).

Nighttime reading may have its advantages, though. Fifty-six percent of those who read at night said it helps them get better shuteye, and 55% noted it helps them fall asleep faster.

“Our research shows that sometimes, readers can tap into their experience to correctly predict whether they'll like a book based on its cover alone,” the spokesperson added.“Although readers differ in how and when they enjoy their favorites, they all find ways to enhance their daily lives through reading.”


  • “Misery” by Stephen King
  • “Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling
  • The“Twilight” series
  • “Fifty Shades of Gray” by E. L. James
  • Books by Danielle Steel
  • “Atomic Habits” by James Clear
  • “The Pilot's Wife” by Anita Shreve
  • “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
  • “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton and Leonard Shecter
  • “Goals” by Brian Tracy
  • “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
  • “My Sister's Keeper” by Jodi Picoult
  • “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt
  • “Legends and Lattes” by Travis Baldree

– The average respondent reads 8.28 books a month x 12 months = 99.36 books a year

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by ThriftBooks between Oct. 10 and Oct. 17, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll , whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR ) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR ).


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