Americans Reading More Books Since Coronavirus Pandemic Began

Data Collected from Readers in Conjunction with COVID-19 Book Giveaway Program
By: Ms.
CLINTON, Mass. - May 15, 2020 - PRLog -- Fifty-eight percent of Americans are spending more time reading books since the coronavirus pandemic started than before, according to a recent survey conducted as part of a COVID-19 book giveaway program. Some 38 percent of entrants say they spend about the same amount of time reading books now and only 4 percent are spending less time reading books than before.

The data was collected in conjunction with a grassroots program called "30 Days of Free Books", in which 23 authors from around the country united to offer housebound readers literary escape. A different book was given away every day for a month from April 15 through May 14. People were asked about their reading habits as part of their entries.

"We know people are watching more TV since stay-at-home orders were put in place. Now we know the majority of people are also reading more books. Call that part of the silver lining of this tragic and life-altering situation we're in," said author S.M. Stevens, who created the "30 Days of Free Books" program after seeing streaming services like Netflix and Hulu offer free or discounted services to people sheltering in place due to the pandemic.

"During these days of social isolation, it's heartening to feel connected to each other through the written word. We are not alone, and it's a privilege to be part of such an inspiring and generous community of souls," said bestselling author and "30 Days of Free Books" participant Helen Fremont.

The data is based on 663 entries received from U.S. residents from April 1 through May 14, 2020.

About 30 Days of Free Books

Authors participating in "30 Days of Free Books" donated their books and sent winners either autographed print versions or ebooks. Books in the program represented virtually all genres and ranged from new releases and best-sellers from major publishing houses to debut books from small-press and indie authors.

Specific titles included The Escape Artist by Helen Fremont, recently selected as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times and a Best New Book by People Magazine; The Good Braider by Terry Farish, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; Bad Harvest by Dzvinia Orlowsky, winner of the 2019 Massachusetts Book Award for "Must Read" Poetry; and A Girl Goes Into the Forest, a collection of short stories by Peg Alford Pursell, currently short-listed for the 2020 Northern California Booksellers Award.

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Susan Boucher
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