Here are some statistics aggregated on Erma Bombeck's website. I'm not sure how accurate they are, especially those from the Jenkins Group, as some of them seem pretty hard to believe...
1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins, www.JenkinsGroupInc.com)
53 percent read fiction, 43 percent read nonfiction. The favorite fiction category is mystery and suspence, at 19 percent.
55 percent of fiction is bought by women, 45 percent by men.
(Source: Publishers Weekly)
A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies.
A successful nonfiction book sells 7,500 copies.
(Source: Authors Guild, www.authorsguild.org)
Each day in the U.S., people spend 4 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.(Source: Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment banker)
Some of these are hard to swallow. I can only think of one person that I know that doesn't read. Pretty much everyone else I think reads at least sometimes. Some read non-fiction, some read fiction, some read heavily while others read only a book or two a year. But nearly everyone I know reads at least some. I just can't imagine that 42% of college graduates "never read another book after college" and 33% of high school graduates "never read another book for the rest of their lives" after high school. That is just really hard to swallow. If it is true, then that is pretty frightening and disheartening!