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Good News About Reading: Here’s the Data

Check out the Reading Data

While coronavirus has caused challenges from bookstore and library closings to manufacturing lags, there’s plenty of good news about books, readers and publishing. Specifically, reading books remains popular, across all ages. And, in case you were wondering, readers still prefer print books over ebooks.

Krystal McKenna writer
Krystal McKenna shares insights on reader habits across generations

Krystal McKenna of Best By The Numbers reached out to me to share a new infographic which compares data on the reading habits of the 5 generations: Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.

Key Takeaways About Reader Demographics

Let’s dig into some of the data on reading so you can see the trends for the audience and demographic you’re writing for.

Krystal shared the following key takeaways–and they may surprise you!

“Millennials read more books than any other generation, closely followed by Baby Boomers. However, Gen Z (the youngest generation) have increased their reading more than the other generations since the start of the coronavirus.”

“Print books are preferred to eBooks by all generations, with 65% of US adults having read a print book over the past year vs. 28% for eBooks.”

When It Comes to Nonfiction Reader Data…

The infographic also delved into the favorite non-fiction genres of the 5 generations.

Krystal pointed out that, “Gen Z prefer reading humor books, Millennials devour health and wellness books, Gen X read about crafts and hobbies, Baby Boomers like to read cookbooks, and the Silent Generation prefer biographies and memoirs.”

Something on the fun side? Krystal shares, “As French readers get older, they are more likely to read sexy books. 58% of French Baby Boomers have read erotic fiction vs 42% of Millenials. That’s what I call aging well.”

“Every generation still likes to read, even the tech-obsessed Millennials and Gen Z. And the appetite for buying books will continue well into the future.”

Find out Which Generation Reads the Most Share on X

Check out the infographic for further insights into the reading habits of the 5 generations.


which generation reads the most?

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Susan Jennings says

    Lisa, I just discovered your website and I am so impressed and would like to join your emailing list but couldn’t find a subscribe button. I would like to add, how interesting and helpful the analysis of readers is. Such a lot of work, thank you. I always had an idea where my readers were and now i know. Historical fiction, my main genre, is read by the silent generation that i did know but I didn’t realize how few ebooks they read, which explains why I have to push ebooks so hard and now I will concentrate on the print books. Thank you.
    I hope you don’t mind but I posted the link to a group i’m in, Bryan Cohen’s Amazon Ads school as I’m sure they will find it useful.
    I am also the President of Ottawa Independent Writers and I will pass your information on to members as we have both seasoned published authors and novice writers, I think the later might be interested in your workshops.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Hi Susan,
      Thanks so much for your input and for sharing my blog and website with others! I’m so glad it’s helped you solve a book sales/marketing challenge!
      I’d love your feedback on something you mentioned. I’ve struggled a little with how to offer blog subscriptions without being redundant for those who also get the newsletter.

    • People usually join my mailing list by subscribing to the 7 Day Inspired Author Courseor one of my free short ebooks, such as 7 Questions to Ask an Editor Before You Hire Yours.
    • So, I have a question for you. If the subscription button subscribed you to our newsletter (rather than getting a notification each time a blog post was posted) would that work for you? I’m hesitant to offer a blog subscription because, if people subscribed to both that and our newsletter they would get the posts twice.
    • Would you be inclined to subscribe to a newsletter or do you just want the post notification?


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