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The 2019 Learning Index

We asked our US readers how they learn, what they’re interested in, and what are the biggest obstacles to a life-long learning habit. Here’s what they said.
by The Blinkist Team | Dec 12 2019

At Blinkist, we believe that learning is the key to personal growth and meaningful change, but getting access to good information isn’t always easy. Recently, we surveyed over 2,400 people across our US community to explore barriers, motivations and passions when it comes to the way we learn. We wanted to know how people manage to expand their mental horizons amid the hustle, bustle—and often, pressure—of everyday life.

As our co-founder, Niklas Jansen said, “It comes as no surprise that the busy pressures of everyday life—work, family, social lives—are taking their toll, often on our ability to carve out time for ourselves. But these findings reveal the passion people still have for learning, for improving what we know about the world around us, and the power of a good book.”

Here’s a quick, visual summary of what we found.

So, in a little more detail, what did we learn? Here are a few highlights.

Long Live the Bookworm!

Despite the rise of technology and the vast world of social content, it seems books still hold a special place in the hearts of many. 80% of people say they like to learn from books, while only 24% say they actually learn from the neverending scroll through social.

Curiosity is Thriving

With plenty of information at our fingertips, we live in a thriving learning culture. 94% of people say they feel motivated to keep learning as they get older. This thirst for knowledge after school and/or college transcends generations, from people aged 18 to 55+.

We’re Interested in the Wider World

Americans recognize that the world is larger than the city we live in. Over two thirds of people (67%) say they are motivated to learn not just to get further in their careers but to get a better understanding of the world.

There Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day

Unsurprisingly, the time pressures of the daily grind remain the biggest challenge when it comes to learning. More than three quarters of people (78%) say there simply isn’t enough time in the day to learn.

Younger People Suffer Information Overload

At a younger age, the barrier to learning seems to be an overwhelming sensation that there is too much to cover. Of those surveyed, 58.5% between ages 18-34 admitted there is so much to learn that they don’t know where to start.

We Want to be Well

Understanding more about wellness in 2019 was a priority for almost three quarters of people (71%). Personal interpretations of wellness can differ, with interests ranging from mindfulness and meditation to health and nutrition.

Peak Learning Time is January

In 2019, we saw an expected rise in engagement as people kicked off the new year in January with fresh resolutions (3,603,488 audio or text blinks). However, it seems the second most popular month to lean into learning was October (2,981,264 audio or text blinks). Overall, Americans spent 1,236,114 hours consuming content on Blinkist in 2019.

Here Are Your Top 5 Titles from 2019

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

A perennial favorite on Blinkist, Stephen R. Covey’s 1989 classic continues to be one of the most sought-after titles in our library. Why? Because people want to work smarter, not harder, and Covey’s guide to an effective life offers practical tips on how to live your most fulfilling life.

2. How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman

The people we meet shape our lives and if they like us, we’re more likely to be happier, healthier, and be introduced to life-changing opportunities. Boothman’s book teaches people how to make the most of those crucial first impressions.

3. The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

There’s no denying that in 2019, there have been reams of articles about the habits of early-risers and how people who get up early are more likely to be productive, healthy, and happier in general. Sharma’s bestseller is full of tips for how you too can make the most of your mornings.

4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Manson’s foul-mouthed, no-BS bestseller cuts through the idea that positive thinking will bring us closer to a life well-lived. He argues that we are all flawed and limited, but by accepting that, we’ll be more likely to live a happier life.

5. Own the Day, Own Your Life by Aubrey Marcus

The world is often set up so that we feel powerless to control it, but when you take ownership of your own life, body, work, and time, then magical things can happen. By providing simple strategies to help you make the most of each element of your day, Marcus helps his readers feel fulfilled and happy.

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