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HomenewsCulture60% of Surfers Read Books Regularly

60% of Surfers Read Books Regularly

A 17-country report just released by global market analysts, GfK, shows that 30% of the international online population read books”every day or most days”. This is led by China at 36%, closely followed by Spain and the UK at 32% each. However, if the segment is widened to include both daily readers and those who read”at least once a week”,the international total rises to 59%, with China firmly in the lead(70%),followed by Russia (59%) and Spain (57%).

High income households read books more regularly than low income

Over a third (35%) of people in high income households say they read books ‘every or most days’, compared to a quarter (24%) of those in low income households. Added to this, one in ten people in low income households claim that they ‘never’ read books; triple the percentage reported in high income households (three%).

Women are more likely to be avid book readers than men

Overall, 32% of women report reading books every or most days, compared to 27% of men. This gender gap amongst the daily book readers is widest in the Netherlands (30% of women versus 14% of men) and Spain (40% of women versus 25% of men), followed by Canada (36% of women versus 23% of men), and Germany (31% of women versus 19% of men).


The Netherlands and South Korea have the highest percentage of their online population who report never reading books, standing at 16% each. In South Korea, this is fairly evenly divided between men and women, but in the Netherlands it is heavily led by men, with 23% never reading books, compared to just 9% of women. The countries with the next highest proportion of those who never read books are Belgium (14%), and Canada, France and Japan (all 11%).

Mathias Giloth in GfK Entertainment, comments, “The value of these findings for the book industry lies in combining this self-reported data with analysis of actual sales across different markets and insights from our retail and consumer panels. With this multilayered approach, we help our clients to fine-tune their audience segmentation and identify customer potential, both globally and at country-specific level.”

GfK conducted the online survey with over 22,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 17 countries in summer 2016.

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