Have Americans Stopped Reading Books?

Have Americans stopped reading books?Donald Trump’s presidency is having a detrimental effect on publishing. This is one opinion that has been rippling through the publishing industry ever since Trump came into office in November. But, as an article on the Huffington Post asks, is this really the case?

The article refers to an editorial in the New Republic which suggests the current administration is to blame for the current slump in book sales in the States. Readers are moving away from new releases and turning their attention towards the rolling news cycle on TV. The argument is that it’s hard to compete when the world is stranger than fiction.

They’ve got a point. Yet, according to a new poll from YouGov and HuffPost, Trump’s presence in the White House has not significantly altered readers’ habits. 21% of respondents said they had spent less time reading books over the last 24 months compared to previous years, but 18% said they’d spent more time reading books. Just 9% of those reading less are doing so because they have become more politically engaged.

In these politically-charged times, certain genres have become more popular. Classic dystopias such as 1984, The Origins of Totalitarianism and The Handmaid’s Tale are enjoying renewed interest. At the same time, political nonfiction and works by marginalised authors are experiencing interest from a wider audience keen to understand about individuals’ experiences and the political landscape.

With this in mind, I think it’s safe to say Americans haven’t stopped reading books.

Date Published : 13th of September 2017

Steve Odart

Published by : Steve Odart

About the Author : Steve Odart is the founder of Ixxus, with 28 years experience in the publishing industry. He started life at the London College of Printing, following his grandfather into the printing industry. He spent many years working with Quark through its launch of Quark XPress, and the Quark Publishing System, before setting up a publishing division within one of the UK’s largest Sun Microsystems Resellers. He then joined Oracle, as EMEA Business Development Director – Publishing and Media, prior to founding Ixxus in 2004. Steve has an extensive knowledge of publishing past, present and future, and has worked with the majority of the largest global publishers in his career to date.