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Pew Study Examines Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits

On Tuesday, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released the results of a study that looked at how readers between the ages of 16 and 29 encounter and consume books in different formats.

In an encouraging sign, the study found that more than eight in 10 Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in 10 used their local public library.

Among the study’s other significant findings:

  • 83 percent of Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year. Some 75 percent read a print book, 19 percent read an e-book, and 11 percent listened to an audiobook.
  • Among Americans who read e-books, those under age 30 are more likely to read their e-books on a cell phone (41 percent) or computer (55 percent) than on an e-book reader such as a Kindle (23 percent) or tablet (16 percent).
  • Overall, 47 percent of younger Americans read long-form e-content such as books, magazines or newspapers. E-content readers under age 30 are more likely than older e-content readers to say that they are reading more these days due to the availability of e-content (40 percent vs. 28 percent).
  • 60 percent of Americans under age 30 used the library in the past year. Some 46 percent used the library for research, 38 percent borrowed books (print books, audiobooks, or e-books), and 23 percent borrowed newspapers, magazines, or journals.
  • Americans under age 30 are more likely than older adults to do reading of any sort (including books, magazines, journals, newspapers, and online content) for work or school, or to satisfy their own curiosity on a topic.

The study, which also looked at reasons for reading among 16- to 29-year-olds, book readers by age, e-books beyond e-readers, library usage, and more, is a available on the Pew website.

Bowker Finds Triple-Digit Growth in Self-Publishing

“The number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has nearly tripled, growing 287 percent since 2006, and now tallies more than 235,000 print and ‘e’ titles,” according to a new report from Bowker®.

Print still accounts for 63 percent of self-published books, but e-books are gaining fast, according to the report. E-book production in 2011 was 87,201, up 129 percent from 2006. Print grew 33 percent in the same period.    

Though self-publishing is still a DIY undertaking, Bowker found that its infrastructure is dominated by four firms: In 2011, CreateSpace supported the creation of 58,412 titles (39 percent of self-published print books); Smashwords topped the e-book producers with 40,608 titles (nearly 47 percent of total self-published e-books); the combined divisions of Author Solutions (part of Penguin Group) produced a total of 47,094 titles; and Lulu Enterprises supported the creation of 38,005 titles. No other company had more than 10 percent of market share.

Small presses (i.e., publishers who have produced 10 or fewer books) accounted for 34,107 self-published titles — 21,256 print and 12,851 e-books —  in 2011.

Simon & Schuster Reorganizes Adult Divisions

This week, Simon & Schuster announced a reorganization of its adult divisions from six to four groups. In a memo to staff on Tuesday, S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy said the reorganization “will lead to a sharper editorial focus for our imprints even as it takes consideration of the natural affinities among them.”

As a result of the changes, Martha Levin, the publisher of Free Press, and Dominick Anfuso, its vice president and editorial director, are leaving the company, and Free Press will be overseen by the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group, under Jonathan Karp.

Howard Books, a Christian imprint, will become part of the Atria Publishing Group under Judith Curr. Touchstone Books, formerly part of the Free Press group, will become part of the Scribner Publishing Group, led by Susan Moldow. The fourth publishing group, Gallery, led by Louise Burke, will continue unchanged.

Jeff Pinsker Named President of Klutz

This week, Jeff Pinsker was named vice president, Scholastic Inc., and president of Klutz, Scholastic’s imprint for “books plus” for children. Starting December 3, Pinsker will lead the creative, sales, and marketing direction of the Klutz business and will manage the strategic development of the Klutz brand. 

Pinsker was most recently the CEO of the educational toy company Infinitoy. He is the author of 13 books, including the Quizmo series and entries in Spinner Books’ Armchair Puzzlers series.