A quarter of UK adults—more than 12 million people—have only picked up a book to read for pleasure once, or less than once, in the past six months, according to new research commissioned by literacy campaign Quick Reads.
A YouGov poll of just over 2,000 people also revealed that nearly one in 10 adults claim they never read books, with 29% of those surveyed who have read once every six months or less citing time pressures as the reason.
However, the research also showed that of those who do read for pleasure, 53% said that reading made them feel more relaxed; 61% said it helped them switch off from their day-to-day life, and 51% said they liked experiencing new stories. Meanwhile, 40% said they felt like they learn new subjects through reading, and 32% said that finishing books gives them the same or greater sense of achievement as they get by going to the gym.
Quick Reads project director Cathy Rentzenbrink said: "Reading can bring so much to your life, from giving you something to discuss with friends to helping you relax or taking you to another world, so it's sad to think that one in four people are in such a reading rut that they hardly ever pick up a book."
This year's six Quick Reads £1 books, released today (14th February), are by Kathy Lette, Simon Kernick, Andy McNab, Minette Walters, Veronica Henry and Mike Tucker.