On the Shelf

By Paul Guffin

How Many Books Do You Read?

According to a Gallup poll conducted December 1-16, 2021, United States adults are reading fewer books than previously. The poll question asked how many books people “read, either all or part way through” in the past year, taking into account all forms of books, including print books, electronic books, and audiobooks. The poll reveals that adults in this country read an average of 12.6 books during the previous 12 months, the smallest number that Gallup has measured in any prior survey dating back to 1990, when the number of books read was 15.3. The number climbed to 18.5 by 1999, and has been up and down since, with 2016 showing adults reading an average of 15.6 books per year.

Another way of looking at this is by the percentage of adults who read a certain number of books each year. In the 2021 survey, 17% of adults read no books at all, 40% read 1-5 books, 15% read 6-10 books, and 27% read more than 10 books. The largest change since 2016 was in those who read more than 10 books a year, dropping from 35% of adults in 2016 to the current 27%.

Where would you be found in these statistics? How many books did you read over the past twelve months? Your local library exists to provide you with the opportunity to read as many books as you would like to read. Here at the Downieville Library, you can find books organized in the following ways:

Fiction:

Audiobooks

Children’s easy reader

General fiction

Juvenile

Local interest

Mysteries

Quilt-themed

Short stories

Special books (fragile, too small to shelve, older books)

Thrillers

Westerns

Young adult

Non-fiction:

Audiobooks

Biographies

General non-fiction (organized according to the Dewey Decimal system)

Juvenile

Local interest

Native American

Poetry

Reference

Short stories

Special books (fragile, too small to shelve, older books)

Western

What’s New on the Shelves of the Downieville Library

These books have recently found a place on our shelves, and are waiting for you to find them:

Fiction:

  • The Florabama Ladies’ Auxiliary and Sewing Circle, by Lois Battle
  • Two Years Before the Mast, by R.H. Dana, Jr.
  • The Odyssey, by Homer
  • Breathe, by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Get a Clue: 25 More Picture Mysteries, by Lawrence Treat (juvenile)

Non-Fiction:

  • Tolkien: A Biography, by Humphrey Carpenter (biography)
  • The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media Who Love Them, by Amy Goodman & David Goodman
  • The Tolkien Companion, by J.E.A. Tyler

Leave a Reply