Through World Book Night we are aiming to reach the 35% of adults in the UK who don't regularly read. The World Book Night edition list includes a lot of titles which we hope will appeal to people who read less often, such as men and young people. In order to find out more about people's reading habits we commissioned OnePoll to survey 2000 British men and women.
Men read fewer books than women
The survey found that being too busy, not enjoying reading and preferring to spend their spare time on the internet means men read fewer books, read more slowly and are less likely to finish them than women. In fact, nearly three quarters of men would opt for the film or TV version of a book whereas the same percentage of women were as likely to go for the book itself.
The study saw 63% of men admit they don't read as much as they think they should - many blamed a lack of time while a fifth said they find it difficult or don't enjoy it. Furthermore, one in five men confesses that they have pretended to have read a specific title in order to appear more intelligent.
It also emerged that almost 30% of men admit they haven't really picked up a book since they were obliged to at school. 46% of men are reading fewer books now than they did in the past - a third prefers the internet and 30% engage more with film and TV.
It also emerged that women are more likely to have bought or borrowed a book this year, with more visiting book shops, libraries, supermarket book aisles and online retailers than men.
Sue Wilkinson, our CEO said, "We know reading is really important, so we've got to get more people in general, particularly men, to pick up a books. It seems that men recognise the value of reading books but admit that they don't do it as much as they might for several reasons. TV shows and films, and the internet, are competing for people's time these days, especially that of young men, and our focus is to remind them of the pleasure that can be derived from reading a book as well.
"This year's World Book Night list of 20 books was selected with these young men in mind. In 2014 we hope to get books into the hands of men who aren't reading enough and show them what they are missing. Next year our challenge is to have inspired them to apply to be volunteer givers themselves. ''
Find out more about reading in the UK on our reading facts page.
Get involved with World Book Night on 23 April - join in as a Community Book Giver or attend a local event.
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