Reading habits in the United Kingdom (UK)

Print books vs digital

  • The global sales of UK publishing companies total £1.1 billion
  • 271 million printed books are sold in the UK each year
  • 25.8% of UK book sales are digital
  • 74.2% of UK book sales are printed books
  • 60% of brits tend to read paperback books
  • 47% regularly read hardback books
  • 24% read ebooks
  • Only 8% of Brits listen to audiobooks
  • 18% of 18-24 year olds read digital books
  • They are the least likely age group to read books digitally
  • 25-39 year olds listen to audiobooks most often with 13% listening to them

[Image 1 – Preference for book format]

How often do British people read?

  • 21% of British people are avid readers
  • 43% of Brits read for fun at least one time each week
  • 35% of Brits read for fun more than once a week
  • 19% of British adults read every day

Who reads the most often in the UK?

  • 34% of Brits over 55 years old read at least once a day
  • Only 7% of 18-24 year olds read at least once a day
  • 27% of women read daily
  • Only 13% of men in the UK read every day
  • 22% of men never read compared to only 12% of women who never read

When do Brits read?

  • 36% of Brits prefer to read at night in bed
  • 36% prefer to read in the evening but not in bed
  • 35% of Brits have stated that they mainly read while they are on holiday
  • 43% of when read in bed versus 30% of men
  • 13% of men read while on their commute, this is higher than the 9% of women
  • 30% of men typically read on holiday and 40% of women typically read while on holiday

What genres do Britons read?

  • 36% do not have a preference when it comes to fiction or non-fiction
  • 35% of Brits prefer to read fiction
    • 42% of women prefer fiction to non-fiction
    • 29% of men prefer fiction to non-fiction
  • Only 20% of Brits prefer to read non-ficiton books
    • 24% of men prefer non-fiction to fiction
    • 16% of women prefer non-fiction to fiction
  • When it comes to non-fiction genres:
    • 41% of Brits don’t have a favorite genre of non-fiction
    • 26% of Brits prefer memoirs and biographies making it the most popular genre of non-fiction
    • This is followed by history books at 20% and cookbooks at 19%
  • When it comes to fiction genres:
    • 31% of Brits don’t have a favorite genre of fiction
    • 33% of Brits prefer crime novels and thrillers making it the most popular genre of fiction
    • Fantasy fiction novels are the second most popular at 22%, with action adventure novels at 20% and classic novels at 19%
    • Westerns are the least popular novels with just 2% of Brits choosing it as their favorite genre

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