Half of Britons Only Read Books on Holiday - Top Reads of Past Year Revealed

Posted by Sue Anderson, 18th Jan 2017

If you got any books for Christmas, there's every chance they may still be in the gift bag they came in, if our latest research is anything to go by. It seems that a lot of people only ever read books when they go away on a holiday; are you one of those people?

We polled 1,476 people aged 18 and over from around the UK who'd each been on holiday abroad in the last 12 months and asked them about their reading habits in order to reveal all about the bookworms, or rather lack of, here in the UK.

Majority Say The 'Don't Have Time' To Read in Everyday Life

When we asked, 'Did you read any books on your last holiday abroad?' 59% of the respondents told us 'yes'. What's more, 49% of the total respondents said that they only ever read books when they were on holiday and not when they were back home in the UK. When we asked these people why reading books was exclusively a holiday-only activity, 88% admitted that they just didn't have the time to read in everyday life.

Girl on the Train Most Popular Holiday Read of Past Year

Anyone who did read a book on their last holiday abroad was asked to name the title and author (if they could recall), which revealed the following top 10 most popular holiday reads of the last 12 months:

1. Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

2. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo - Amy Schumer

3. Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

4. 50 Shades (any from trilogy) - E.L. James

5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling

6. The Life of Rylan - Rylan Clarke

7. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

8. No Nonsense - Joey Barton

9. When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi

10. Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee

The majority, 71%, of the people who'd read a book on their last holiday abroad told us that they had bought the book in the airport before leaving the UK. 11% had bought the book and packed it before they left home, while 8% borrowed it from someone they knew and 3% said they got the book from the hotel in which they were staying (with many offering books to guests that other guests have left behind).

People tend to be at their most relaxed when they are on their holidays, so it's no surprise that a serene activity such as reading is something we like to indulge in whilst away. Our top 10 suggests that people's literary tastes vary wildly, with some preferring to gain insight into the lives of the rich and famous and others seeking escapism in a good novel.
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