DESPITE computer games and mobile apps taking up more of our time than ever, it seems a good book still excites – and divides – our nation.
A survey released today has revealed the extreme lengths that avid readers have gone to get their literary fix¹, proving that the art of curling up with a good book isn’t dead and that Christmas reads will be our top gifts this Christmas.
When it comes to gender, women are likely to become so engrossed in a book that they’ll forget where they are, with one in 10 women admitting to missing a bus or a train stop because they are reading, while one in 10 men claim to never read books at all.
While they’re known as the internet generation, it seems teens haven’t given up on reading a good book. In fact, more than one in ten 16 – 24 year olds admits to having called in sick to school or work so they can spend more time with their favourite read.
The Specsavers survey of 1,170 people also found that a third of all women admitted to getting up in the middle of the night to finish an exciting read.
Liverpudlians have proved to be the most dedicated readers in the UK, with 33 per cent burning the midnight oil with a book. In contrast, just eight per cent of Sheffielders will give up their sleep for a page-turner.
The survey has also revealed a literary divide in the UK when it comes to technology. Liverpool leads the way in embracing e-readers, with 45 per cent owning one, while Geordies continue to stick with tradition as 60 per cent prefer a paperback.
Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder said: ‘I love to read and although I haven’t quite gone to any of the extremes uncovered in our survey yet, I can understand how people become so easily engrossed. It’s comforting to see that in our ever-changing technological age, a good book still holds such resonance with people.’
The survey was commissioned as bookworms are being encouraged to vote for their ultimate favourite of those books that triumphed in the Specsavers National Book Awards 2012. Votes can be registered at the national book awards website and the winner will be announced on Wednesday 26 December.
Winners of the National Book Awards 2012, which were announced in November, included E.L. James’s 50 Shades of Grey, My Animals and Other Family by Clare Balding, A Wanted Man by Lee Child and Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart.
55 per cent of 16-24 year olds read e-books
45 per cent of people in Liverpool own an e-reader
53 per cent of people have read an e-book for the first time in 2012
47 per cent of people have said they will buy a physical book as a gift this Christmas
28 per cent of book purchase will be crime fiction
50 per cent of 16-24 year olds would buy a book based on the cover