Over half of adults would like to read more, according to a study commissioned by Royal Mail to mark World Book Day 2019. 70% of 18-34 year olds would like to read more than they currently do, compared to just 42% of those aged over 55 years old.
The digital influence
Despite the digital revolution, the UK remains in love with paper books. Just one in ten readers say they use an e-reader exclusively, compared to 59% who read physical books and 31% who say they do both.
In good news for online retailers, almost two-thirds of British readers purchase books online and one in seven readers predict their book purchases will be exclusively online in 2019. Among those who purchase books online, convenience, price and availability are the key factors.
Men are twice as likely not to read books than women. Nearly a third of men don’t read books, compared to 14% of women. Brits read an average of 10 books each year. Women read an average of 12 books per year, while men read an average of 8. Those aged over 55 read an average of 12 books per year, compared to just 6 for those aged 18-34 years old.
The top reasons for reading are for pleasure, to relax and to learn. Men are much more likely to read to learn and for education. This is reinforced by the fact that 23% of male readers prefer non-fiction books, compared to just 14% of women.
“There is huge appetite across the UK to read more and this research shows the enjoyment Brits get from reading. The online postal market for books is thriving with shoppers still choosing to read physical copies, opposed to using an e-reader. With a growing awareness that taking time away from screens is important, reading is a great way to enjoy a break from technology. Royal Mail works with thousands of online book sellers to keep the nation reading.”
– A spokesperson for Royal Mail