People Reading More Books in COVID-19 Pandemic

hand holding cell phone on beach near umbrella

Here’s something fun I discovered while running a small survey in conjunction with the 30 Days of Free Books giveaway program: A majority of Americans are spending more time reading books since the coronavirus pandemic began.

As those of you who entered to win books through 30 Days know, we asked entrants about their reading habits when you submitted your entries. Are you reading more books than before COVID-19, fewer books, or about the same?

We purposely asked about books, not reading in general. I expect the vast majority of people are reading more news articles to stay on top of the latest coronavirus updates. Asking about books seemed more appropriate for an author-led program.

The survey said that since the pandemic began:

  • 58% of Americans spend more time reading books
  • 38% spend about the same amount of time reading books
  • Only 4% spend less time reading books.
pie chart reading habits pandemic coronavirus covid-19
(c) S.M. Stevens 2020

I assume those who are reading more books are finding themselves with more time on their hands due to reductions in their work hours. We can assume those who are reading fewer books are either busier than before–maybe healthcare workers, other front-line workers or parents homeschooling their kids; or maybe they are too focused on the pandemic to pick up a novel and lose themselves.

Whatever the reason, I consider people having more time to read books part of the silver lining of the crisis we find ourselves in, right up there with more quality family time and increased pet adoptions.