A nice story from the BBC points out that as lives become busier and more fragmented, people are reading more. While this initially sounds like a putting two contradictory facts together, it makes sense. The journalist explains that as people find themselves rushing more places, and waiting more places, they are finding gaps to fill where reading time sneaks in.
I identify strongly with the story. I went to the bank today to deposit a check--with a book. I take a book to get my oil changed, when I ride the train, long lines for government anything, just about any activity outside of grocery shopping. And it wears off on other people-- my former roommate accused me of luring his girlfriend irretrievably into J.D. Robbs' books (I don't even read her stuff), from which he's still been unable to get her attention (except for their wedding).
I wonder if they included or considered audiobooks in "reading" for that's also a way to drive those numbers up. My-friend-the-lawyer is an avid subscriber to Audible and is often telling me of a new book he heard. I go for the classics aloud, personally. Overdrive technology, tied to the library system I left a year ago and the one I currently work for, provides many of them at the type of a library card. So if I sound like I'm on Austen overload--blame Overdrive.
I wonder where all Americans take their reading materials.