The Reading Agency has revealed that the nation is reading more during lockdown with 1 in 3 adults reading more, rising to almost one in two (45%) 18-24 year olds.

Announced on World Book Night, the annual celebration of reading, The Reading Agency is pleased that the survey shows in these difficult times that more people are enjoying the pleasure of a book – in print, in e or in audio.

31% of UK people surveyed  were reading more since the lockdown began, 51% surveyed said they their reading habits hadn’t changed, and only 3% were reading less.

Many people cited reading as a form of release, escapism or distraction and many people also said that having more time was the key driver for increased reading during the lockdown.

Among the books being read are  fictional epidemics including The Plague by Albert Camus and The Viral Storm by Nathan D. Wolfe (up 1393.2%) and publishers have reported large rises in classic literature e.g. Penguin Classics sales increased 64.5% on the week before lockdown.

Debbie Hicks, The Reading Agency, said:

“This year’s World Book Night celebrations provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the proven power of reading to connect people through reading. Never has this connectivity been needed more than at this anxious time of social distancing. Talking about reading and sharing book recommendations on April 23 as part of #Reading Hour will bring individuals, friends and families together to connect a nation in self isolation, whilst also stimulating learning and creativity and providing escapism and relief.”


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