Reading triples from 1980 to 2008

Chris Caceres · December 30, 2009 · Short URL:

Study finds: thanks to the Internet, reading up since the 80's

We read reports about online video consumption quickly on the rise due to the growing popularity of sites like YouTube and Hulu, but not so often do we hear about the growth of another form of media consumption - reading.

Up until the 1980's, reading was in decline due to the growth of television.  But since then, reading has tripled from 1980 to 2008, according to a report published by the University of California San Diego.  

People aren't necessarily picking up books though.  It's actually due in part, "because it is the overwhelmingly preferred way to receive words on the Internet," says the report.  

It's a quite interesting notion because you'd figure growing technology, like video, would actually lessen how much we read on the Web.  But the study found that,

"In 2008, Americans consumed information for about 1.3 trillion hours, an average of almost 12 hours per day. Consumption totaled 3.6 zettabytes and 10,845 trillion words, corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day. A zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power bytes, a million million gigabytes. These estimates are from an analysis of more than 20 different sources of information, from very old (newspapers and books) to very new (portable computer games, satellite radio, and Internet video)."

It'll be exciting to see how next year with the rise of smart phones, ebooks and readers, tablet computers, and hopefully affordable prices, if reading will continue to rise.

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related News