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Reading for pleasure declined since 2004 by almost one-third

The average American spent 16 minutes per day reading for pleasure, down from 23 minutes in 2004.

First, let me share this well-known fact one more time: Reading for just 6 minutes each day can help reduce stress by up to 68% – you may have a significantly slower heart rate and reduced muscle tension.

Yet, the time we read for pleasure is on a constant decline. Statista shared for World Book Day 2022 a chart showing that an average time spent reading for pleasure per day was 16 minutes in 2019, compared to 23 minutes in 2004.

It’s 7 minutes less. And 6 minutes of reading can reduce stress by two-thirds, remember?

Statista’s chart is based on an ongoing survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest reported year is 2019, because the pandemic disrupted the data collection.

According to the survey, employed Americans read only 9 minutes during a workday, but those who are 75 years and older are the most avid readers. In 2019, they spent 44 minutes per day reading for personal interest.

Reading for pleasure decline since 2004 infographic

Via Statista.

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