When there's nothing else to feel proud of, at least you can tell yourself, "Hey, I am an above-average American book reader, god damn it." Are you? Here are the latest stats, from the Pew Research Center:

  • 75% of Americans 16 and older read a book last year.
  • The median number of books read by readers last year was 6; the average, pushed up by those always-reading outliers, was 15.
  • The percentage of readers declined steadily with age, from 90% of 16 year-olds to just 67% of those 65 and older. Likewise, the percentage of readers increased steadily as household income and education levels rose.
  • 81% of women read a book last year, but only 70% of men.

So, if you read more than average, you can feel good about it, and if you read less than average, you can feel good about not being a nerd. If you're a man who didn't read any books, do chainsaw instruction manuals count as books?

[Pew. Photo: m anima/ Flickr]