27% of Americans Didn't Read a Book Last Year New survey offers up somewhat depressing stat By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Oct 23, 2015 5:00 PM CDT 89 comments Comments Books line the shelves at the new Rizzoli flagship bookstore in New York' NoMad district, on Monday, July 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Newser) – A depressing state for bibliophiles: 27% of American adults surveyed this year said they had not read a single book during the prior year. That's out of a Pew Research survey conducted in March and April. Seventy-two percent said they had read at least one book in that timeframe (another 1% refused to answer or said they didn't know), though even reading a book "in part" counted for the purposes of the survey. That's down from 79% in 2011. Interestingly, young adults aged 18 to 29 were more likely than older adults to have read a book in the past year. The survey also found that the average number of books read per American adult over the previous year was 12.