If you’ve reached for a book to cure your lockdown boredom over the past several weeks, you’re not alone. According to a survey of 2,000 British adults, almost half (48 percent) have rediscovered the love of reading during the COVID-19 crisis.
But according to data on people’s reading habits, women are much more likely to persevere with a book than men are.
A new report created by Audience Agency (a British charity that gathers data to help creative industries reach people who will enjoy their work) found that men regularly give up on a book before they reach page 50, whereas women are far more likely to read past page 100.
Over the last 6 years, physical book sales have been declining, with eBooks soaring in popularity. The big companies like Amazon (Kindle) and Kobo have huge amounts of data on people’s reading habits, and book publishers are now trying to find ways to keep up.
Not only were women found to have more perseverance in reading than men, but the report found only five per cent of eBooks are finished by more than 75 percent of readers.
The short attention span isn’t due to our love for TV though, according to the survey. It actually found the opposite - that people who binge-watch shows are among those who are likely to stick with a book until the end.
“Netflix binge-watchers aren't necessarily less likely to finish reading a book. If they are genre fans on Netflix and are reading a genre book, there is in fact a positive correlation,” states the report.
In a separate report from company Jellybooks, it was found that the 50-100 page mark is where most people abandon a book. But if a person gets past this point they are more likely to finish the entire book.
The authors of the new report, Sophia Woodley and Oliver Mantell, have commended Jellybooks, saying the insights it gathers could be invaluable to authors and publishers alike:
“[Jellybooks] would help to understand more about who reads what, when; what causes readers to 'turn off' from books; and how tastes in reading are correlated (or not) with tastes in culture or mass media.”
We hope you’ve taken some time out during these stressful times to rekindle your love for reading - even if you haven’t quite managed to finish the books you’ve started!