The French read books two minutes a day on average, the Italians, Austrians and Romanians five minutes, and the citizens of Serbia for six minutes – the latest survey conducted by Eurostat in celebration of the World Book Day has shown.
Estonians read for an average of 13 minutes a day, the Finns, Norwegians and Poles 12 minutes, while the Hungarians spend 10 minutes reading a book.
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The survey was conducted between 2008 and 2015 and it covered the age group of 20 to 74 from 15 EU member states, plus Norway, Serbia and Turkey.
In 2016, households in the European Union (EU) spent over €90 billion or 1.1% of their total expenditure on books, newspapers and stationery. This represents 0.6% of EU GDP or about €200 per EU inhabitant. Annually, households spent double the amount on books, newspapers and stationery as they spent on package holidays. On the other hand, households’ expenditure on these items was less than half of their spending on recreational and cultural services.
Spending on books, newspapers and stationary is in decline. In 1995, 1.8% of the total consumption expenditure of households in the EU was devoted to these items. The share has been constantly decreasing since then to 1.1% in 2016.
The Finns are the biggest bookworms in Europe, where 16.8% of the surveyed people say that reading is their favourite pastime. Poland and Estonia take the second and third place with 16.4% and 15% respectively.
In Serbia, 8% of the surveyed people said that they are avid book readers, while only 2.6% people in France frequently read books.
In all countries, there are more book readers r among women than among men. However, men who read books read for longer periods of time than women.