Reading is alive and well in Britain

April 09, 2014, 3:14 PM GMT+0

Three quarters of British people have finished a book for pleasure in the past year – and physical books are still more popular than e-books

With the proliferation of tablets, phones and laptops, it might seem like no one reads books any more. And it’s easy to feel that reading has been absorbed by technology; by e-readers and e-book apps.

But a new YouGov survey finds that reading is a pastime that is alive and well in Great Britain.

Three quarters (75%) of adults say they have read and finished a book for pleasure in the past year. 24% say they have not.

The figures are fairly consistent across demographics, never dropping below 66% – the average for men. In contrast, 82% of women say they’ve read a book in the last 12 months.

While 34% are not exactly ‘bookworms’ – describing themselves as on-and-off or occasional readers – they are slightly outnumbered by those who are: 47% describe themselves as avid or regular readers.

The survey also finds that physical books are still more popular than e-readers. Although 34% say they use an e-reader to read books, 69% say they use paper books to read the most while only 20% say they mostly use an e-reader. And even among those who use both e-readers and physical books, more (52%) say they mostly read books than say they mostly use e-readers (42%).

But the survey does have some warning signs. While most people say they are reading for pleasure about the same (35%) or more (25%) than they used to, significant minorities of 18-24 year olds (43%) and those aged 25-39 (41%) say they are reading less than they once did.

Image: Getty

See the full poll results

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