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Average British Bookshelf Holds 86 Volumes

By April 27, 2015Literature, Reading Habits

All we seem to hear about is the decline of the human race, and in particular appreciation for arts and literature, as we become more dependent on technology. However, a recent study by Ofcom has shown that Brits are reading as much as ever, people from all ages, and most of them are still reading paper books too!

It’s Ofcoms biggest survey of its kind and the results have been both interesting and surprising. Despite the belief that reading is in decline, 84% of British adults are said to have bookshelves and a physical book collection, and the average number of books that contains is 86 volumes. It’s down from 2005 when 93% of adults had a physical book collection, but with a percentage of readers switching to eBooks, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t still reading.

According to the study the biggest book collections are held by the 55-64 age group and that maybe isn’t surprising considering that it often takes a lifetime to get a book collection together. The average number of books held by this age group is 118, but even 16-24 year olds have an average of 50 books each.

And despite the eBook revolution it seems that paper is here to stay. Of the readers surveyed by Ofcom most hold more physical books than downloads with the average UK adult holding 19 books on their device. The largest number of eReaders are held by the 45-54 age group and they have an average of 22 books on their reading device.

Television still comes out as the top form of entertainment in the UK, but people say they spend an average of 20 minutes a day reading literature, compared to three hours watching television and an hour browsing the Internet.

The news has been welcomed by literary organisations, and we welcome it too. We already know that reading is still a huge pastime for many, me included, but it’s great to see literature still has its place in the modern age.

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