How many hours are wasted each year looking for books to read?

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How many hours are wasted each year looking for books to read?

Hello, thank you for your question about the time people spend looking for books to read. After an exhaustive search, I can safely say that there are no publicly available global statistics that can be used to directly answer your question. However, I was able to gather enough relevant data to create a triangulated response based on U.S. statistics. In short, I have determined that the collective American adult population spends around 7.5 billion hours each year shopping for books and periodicals. There is no specific statement indicating whether or not this time includes or omits online shopping hours. In my deep dive below, I have compiled a series of facts and calculations based on statistical data and industry reports. I have also expounded upon my methodology and my triangulation process.

METHODOLOGY

I began my research by looking for specific data sets compiled around the subject of shopping for books in any capacity (both electronic and paper). In most cases, book shopping was included in general retail data, without a specific breakdown of time spent per department. As such, I began looking for more specific data pertaining to retail sales by product type. Unfortunately, that search proved fruitless. In the end, I was forced to narrow my search to U.S. data. I found a single survey that broke down shopping hours by product type. I then used that data to triangulate a national figure. From there, I gathered as much relevant data as possible, in the hopes it would prove useful.

INSIGHTS

My estimated figure of 7.5 billion hours is based on the following calculations:
A report published by The Motley Fool determined that women in America spend just over 31.35 hours each year physically shopping for books and periodicals. Based on my research, the female population in the United States is just over 50%, at 157 million. Of that 157 million, about 120 million are over the age of 18 (adults). Given the fact that around 50% of the population is female, we can deduce that there are around 120 million men over the age of 18 in the U.S., as well. Assuming that men spend around the same amount of time shopping for books and periodicals as women do, we can deduce that around 240 million people in the U.S. spend about 31.35 hours each year shopping for books and periodicals. 240 million x 31.35 = 7,524,000,000 -- or 7.5 billion. ADDITIONAL RELEVANT DATA

A Pew Research survey from 2016 confirmed that 65% of Americans read a print book in the year leading up to the survey; 28% of Americans read at least one e-book in the year leading up to the survey, and finally, 14% had consumed a book via audio.

An interesting statistic from The Bookseller confirmed that in 2014 "sales of print and e-books stood at £2.2bn, up 4% from the previous year. The data was revealed today (25th March) at Nielsen Book's annual conference, BookInsights. Overall, e-books accounted for 30% of book units purchased in 2014, with the fastest growth coming in non-fiction and children's categories."

Amazon's total revenue from book sales is about $5.25 billion each year. Books account for around 7% of the company's total annual revenue. E-books equate to around 30% of all book sales globally, and Amazon maintains around 65% of the market share within the e-book category, Bookstore sales were up by 1.9 percent in April of this year, when compared to sales in April a year prior. Bookstore sales figures for April 2017 were estimated at $714 million.

CONCLUSION To recap, the collective American adult population spends around 7.5 billion hours each year shopping for books and periodicals. That means that the average American adult spends around 31.35 hours shopping for books and periodicals each year. As always, thank you for using Wonder! Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.
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