A Nation of Readers

A commemorative postage stamp on the Nation of Readers :

Issued by United States of America

Issued on Oct 16, 1984

Design : Well-known stamp designer Bradbury Thompson of Riverside, Connecticut designed the 20¢ commemorative stamp saluting America as a nation of readers.

Type : Stamp, Postal Used

Denomination : 20 cents

About : 

  • According to a recent survey done by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., America is truly a nation of readers. Despite the competition of the electronic media, we are reading more than ever. The majority of Americans are regular readers of books and one out of three qualifies as a heavy reader, finishing 26 or more books in a six-month period. It is estimated that the average daily reading time for adults is somewhere between 1½ and 3 hours, including newspapers, magazines and books. Most of that time is spent reading for pleasure.
  • Americans get their books through retail bookstores, public, private, institutional and industrial libraries and by mail through book clubs. Libraries report that their circulation has increased at twice the rate of population growth for the last four decades. Also, Americans are buying nearly twice as many books today as they did just ten years ago. They are also ordering magazines and newspapers at the rate of 20 million subscriptions each year.
  • One of the reasons for the reading boom is the computerization of typesetting, which permits publishers to issue books on timely subjects in a few days. Another contributor is the increased number of book outlets in public meeting places such as railroad stations and airports, hotels and shopping malls. Yet another factor is the proliferation of general and special interest book clubs.
  • Americans read works of fiction and non-fiction dealing with nearly every imaginable subject. Some 50,000 new titles were published in 1983, an increase of 20% over 1978. While most were designed for recreational reading, some are textbooks for school and business.
  • The increased diversity and complexity of industry and the sciences have resulted in a communications explosion. In addition to books, there are more than 2,500 business, technical and scientific periodicals now being published in the United States.

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