Freckle Project April 2022 "Where Did You Get That Book" Update

The EveryLibrary Institute continues to support the research and dissemination of the Freckle Project survey and report about the reading habits of the American public, especially through libraries. The April 2022 survey results are in and late-stage COVID reading through libraries continues to be strong. 

The April 2022 Freckle Project survey asked 667 adults in the United States a key question: "Where did you get that book?" The answers about where people source their books and how they utilize print, ebooks, and audiobooks continue to evolve. This survey is a continuation of a sample first fielded in April 2019 and refreshed during the COVID pandemic in April 2021 and October 2021. High-level findings include:

  • Nearly 90% of adults report using or reading a book in the prior 12 months. 
  • 57% of books are read in print and 43% are in ebook or audiobook formats. This is a significant shift from pre-COVID levels where 76% of books were utilized in print. 
  • Audiobooks as a percentage of digital interactions have increased from only 4% in April 2019 to 16% in April 2022. 
  • Library utilization continues to be strong with 18% of readers sourcing their print and digital from the library. 
  • Readers have shifted dramatically to online retailers as their primary source for reading and books (43%) with negative changes to people getting books from bricks-and-mortar retail (15%) and friends and family (15%).
  • Fully 55% of people who self-report using a library in the last 12 months used it to read or borrow books. A further 17% reported using the library to research or study. 

You can view a recording of a conversation between Tim Coates, principal researcher for the Freckle Project, and John Chrastka, the EveryLibrary Institute's executive director, discussing the April 2022 findings:

Download the slides from the April 2022 survey as a PDF