Reading/ Readership

Who is reading?


  • Nearly half of all Americans ages 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure.
  • Although reading tracks closely with education level, the percentage of college graduates who read literature has declined.

  • 65% of college freshmen read for pleasure for less than an hour per week or not at all.

  • The percentage of non-readers among these students has nearly doubled—climbing 18 points since they graduated from high school.

More Facts here:

What are readers reading?

People read a variety of things everyday. They can read in their free time, on break at work, public transportation, on the toilet and such. According to Digital Book World, in 2015, these ebooks were the most popular:

  1. The Girl on the Train
  2. The Longest Ride
  3. The Stranger
  4. Outlander
  5. NYPD Red 3
  6. The Nightingale
  7. All the Light We Cannot See
  8. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
  9. The Husband’s Secret
  10. Cone Girl
  11. The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
  12. Allegiant
  13. The Silent Girls
  14. Insurgent
  15. Memory Man
  16. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
  17. A Spool of Blue Thread
  18. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
  19. Silent Scream
  20. Divergent
  21. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  22. The Liar
  23. The Shadows: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
  24. Dragonfly in Amber
  25. All I Ever Need Is You

Most of the books on this (outdated) list are fiction. There are many books on here everyone has probably heard of.

How readers read

Digital Book World also said: “Among consumers’ favorite ways to get books for personal reading, 18 percent prefer to read for free, 26 percent claim that they never pay full price (for example, they purchase used books), 16 percent claim to prefer to purchase ebooks only, 18 percent declare that they “save when they can,” and 22 percent are impulse buyers, purchasing books they like as soon as they see them.”

Mobile Reading

Digital Book World said: “Today’s professional—and her office environment—are ever-evolving, and so are the ways that she consumes information. Her need to diversify and increase professional development skills on the go makes the need for on-demand, easy access to resources a necessity. This is but one reason why publishers should place emphasis and importance on engaging business and corporate professionals through mobile learning. Mobile learning is projected to be a $38 billion industry by 2020.”

Making texts more accessible from a mobile device increases the amount of readers. Since a mobile device, phones, tablets, laptops and such, are commonly used, it makes sense to make texts available for these devices.  The more text that are available on mobile devices, the more people publishers/ companies can reach out to. “The digitization of the reading experience is changing this limitation, however, and opening up a new frontier that publishers are starting to use to their advantage.” Some people like to read anything they can get their hands on. We as people can be lazy. Some would rather buy a book on their phone instead of going to a book store.


Publishers weekly said: “The gain for the full year came despite the lack of many big hits (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was last year’s top print seller) and distractions caused by the presidential election. Indeed, bookstore sales were up 6.1% in the first half of 2016 but softened as the year, and the election, wore on. A hoped-for post-election sales bounce did not materialize. Bookstore sales in December were down 3.1% compared to a year ago.” They said that politics was a “distraction,” to the sales of “big hits.” (In politics defense, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child didn’t flop because of politics, it flopped because people didn’t like it.) When it came to politics, many were able to access the latest tragedies (political events, debates) on their mobile devices.


The Readers Insight Data is a concept developed by Anders Breinholst. “Reader Insights Data” (RID) will provide information on exactly who the target audience is, reducing the risk of buying international rights to books that are not a perfect fit for the publisher.” This would decrease the amount of money spent on rubbish the publisher doesn’t need. It would increase money for texts people will read.

I apologize for the quality of this post. It sucks.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What effects the way you read?
  2. Do you prefer a phone, kindle, laptop etc?
  3. Do you believe that sales of print books will decrease as technology develops?



Penguin Random House


Type of Publisher: I decided to go with Penguin Random House press. They date back to the early 1800’s. It wasn’t until 1927 that is was renamed to Random House. Penguin was established in 1935. PRH has many other publishers and presses with them. They are a Trade publisher. They focus on printing books for older readers, young and average adults. For instance, the publish books like mystery&suspense, literary fiction, teen& young adults. romance, science fiction, biography and memoir, children’s books, and cook books.  They have many positions; more specifically 12,000 people globally. “Publishes 70,00o digital and 15,000 print titles annually, with more than 100,000 eBooks available worldwide.” They publish many popular and best-seller books. Besides their Board of Directors jobs, PRH offers many other positions as well. They broke it down into three categories: Experienced, Entry_Level and Fulfillment. The Experienced jobs would be for publishing professionals; Entry-level would be beginners; Fulfillment would be distribution. “This complex organization receives picks, packs and ships out an average more than 1.2 million books daily to customers around the world.” Besides on their website, they advertise in many different ways; in book stores, social medias and online shopping.

Market: There target audience is young/ older adults. They are very diverse. They have operations in 20 countries across five continents. The picture above is popular books printed by PRH with Speak. They created Speak specifically for older readers.

Funding: PRH has nearly 250 editorially and creatively independent publishing imprints. They get funding from production and the published imprints. “The PRH foundation has awarded more than two million dollars in scholarships through it’s Creative Writing Award program for young writers since it was established in 1993, with separate, additional grants distributed though our newest foundation program, the National Teacher Awards for Literacy.” I couldn’t find anything really specific on funding, but I drew the conclusion that they are very popular.

Successes: They have published “everything from National Book awards to Printz awards to Coretta Scott King awards and Finalists.” Their Speak list features strong titles year after year. For example, John Greens “Paper Towns,” sold very well, then the movie came. The sales went up more drastically. The same can be said for Gayle Foremans “If I Stay.”

Challenges: This was hard to find. I believe their biggest challenges would be other publishing companies. Many publishing companies can produce copies of the same book and all of them try to be different.






Let’s talk about Treasure Island.

I love to read. I have about 500 books in a shoe box I call my room. It was very difficult to pick just one book to analysis. I am a sucker for a great cover, so the book I chose was Treasure Island by Robert Louise Stevenson. It has been one of my favorite books for a very long time. Now, what makes this book effective?

  • Who is the audience?
    • The intended audience is anyone who might enjoy an adventure. It is obvious the book will have a lot to do with a ship and a journey to an island.
    • People who enjoy historical/ fantasy fiction might also enjoy it.
    • The picture and bright colors do a great job at welcoming a reader and giving them something to expect.
    • This book was published in 1883. I concluded that the book was primarily for young people (aspiring readers) and kids who were not told by their parents that it was childish and silly.
  • How does the layout aid readability and understanding?
    • If we are talking about the layout of the book, the chapters are easily and understandably broken up. This particular version is paper back, small and light weight.
    • If we are talking about the cover, as I said before, it does a good job at catching a readers attention. Unlike many other versions of this book, this cover uses bright colors and a fun fonts. It is a very visually appealing cover.
  • How do images clarify and enhance the text?
    • Although there are many versions of this that includes illustrations, this one in particular does not. The only image is the cover; it does a fine job at enhancing the text because of it being the only image.
    • When I look at the cover, I see a very detailed and elaborate piece. That is how I would want the text to be, very detailed and elaborate. I want the text to put me on that ship. For those who haven’t read it, it does just that.
  • What mood does the design evoke? How do the design elements work together to create that mood?
    • As I have said about once or twice and possibly three times, the design evokes a sense of adventure and fantasy. It is easy to conclude that there will be a journey taking place. This journey will not be easy because of the visible raging waters.
    • The way I saw it as is a bit more detailed. Since the book was published in 1883, we know that much of the traveling was done on the water. It’s fair to say that life was not all that easy back then. Plus, we have all read or seen movies about thieving pirates and what not. One could assume this book is about thieving pirates just from the cover.
    • There is more than one mood being set. A calming mood could also be something someone feels when seeing it; a scared or intense mood. (I mean, we have all seen/ read things where people on a big boat have not had the best of luck).

Besides everything I explained, there are many other reasons why this is a great book! Until next time,