Teens Don’t Read For Fun Anymore, New Data Says

More teens say they don’t read for fun today than any time in the past three years, according to new data from Nielsen Book, presented at Launch Kids at Digital Book World 2014 in New York today.

According to the Nielsen data, 41% of teens now say they “don’t” read for fun. This number is up from 21% of teens who said that in the fall of 2011.

The survey was conducted among children aged 13 through 17.

The good news for book publishers, according to Nielsen’s Jonathan Nowell, who presented the data, is that the “children’s book market is resilient” and that it’s not that teens won’t resume their love of reading as digital books gain adoption — it’s just that they haven’t done it yet.

Related: Kids and E-Reading Trends 2012-2013


10 thoughts on “Teens Don’t Read For Fun Anymore, New Data Says

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  2. Michael W. Perry

    Oh, I don’t know about this cherry optimism about teens resuming old habits. Some trends just get worse and worse.

    I’m about to release my first young adult novel, Lily’s Ride and I’m certainly disturbed that the number who don’t read for fun has gone from 21% (fall of 2011) to 41% today. That’s just a shade less than doubling an already disturbingly large number.

    At $295 each, I can’t remotely afford a copy of this book, but I would be delighted to hear answers to questions like:

    1. Why don’t these kids find reading fun? Given that they can choose what they read, that’s a bit like not liking chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven.

    2. What sort of books do they say they might find interesting?

    3. What are they doing on rainy days instead of reading? Are they watching YouTube videos of cats in paper sacks?

    4. To what extent is this dislike of reading for fun linked to difficulty in reading in general?

    5. It’d also be great, for those teens who aren’t reading for fun, to see a tabulation of the last book they read that they liked.

    6. Which brings up another question. To what extent is this problem the result of not having a mega-blockbuster book (like Harry Potter or Hunger Games) on the market?

    7. What are the differences between liking-to-read kids and those who don’t?

    Yes, I know. I should have to pay that $295 to find all that out.

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