By M.K. Tod

This summer, a total of 2,418 participants from various parts of the world weighed in with their opinions about reading. As in prior years, the survey attracted high volume readers with 72% reading more than 20 books a year. Survey participants love fiction—most say they read more than 50% fiction.

So what else did we learn?

  • 49% of participants use social media regularly to support their reading
  • Top 5 genres are mystery/thriller, romance, historical fiction, women’s fiction and literary––a caveat here as I am a member of a robust group of historical fiction fans; top genres for men are mystery/thriller, science fiction, military/war, historical fiction, and fantasy
  • Gender: women read more than men and use social media more regularly in support of reading; men and women prefer different types of stories and different non-fiction
  • Print books remain popular––75% of participants frequently or exclusively use print books
  • Not surprisingly, entertainment is the dominant reason for reading fiction, followed by “to appreciate other places and people in the world
  • Readers say that feeling immersed in the novel’s world is the most important factor for their reading
  • The top two factors when choosing a book are subject matter and genre
  • Age influences reading habits: interest in fantasy decreases with age; the highest use of phone-based e-readers is for those between 30 and 50
  • Friends remain the top source for book recommendations––chosen by 61% of participants when asked for their top three sources
  • For reading purposes, connecting with the author of a book is the social media functionality most valued by participants


You can read the complete report and peruse previous reader surveys at M.K. Tod’s award-winning blog a writer of history.


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, Time and Regret was published by Lake Union. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads, or on her blog www.awriterofhistory.com.


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