French youth don't 'rate' books

<p>Young French adults do not rate books very highly, even though they still read more than their elders. </p><p>An opinion poll carried out by UK research company Ipsos among 639 18&ndash;30s for the book trade weekly magazine, <em>Livres Hebdo</em>, showed that 52% admitted that they could do very well without books. But 79% of the sample had read at least one book over the previous 12 months, compared to 70% for the population as a whole. </p><p>Young women read more than young men&mdash;84% against 74%. More than 80% of the total were not interested in news of the literary world and 65% considered books just a consumer product like any other. But 81% kept the books they read. </p><p>Altogether 25% subscribed to a library or mediatheque, though the number dropped sharply among those not in full-time education. </p><p>Forty-one percent said they preferred to buy books at large stores, such as Virgin and the electrical and media goods chain Fnac, compared to 22% at specialist bookshops. Supermarkets came third, followed by the internet and mail order. A surprising 54% of respondents said they had never heard of digital books. The figure rose to 62% for young women. But the poll was conducted before the mass media coverage of Kindle&#39;s arrival in Europe. </p><p>During a forum held last week by<em> Livres Hebdo</em>, bestselling French author Anna Gavalda <em>(pictured)&nbsp;</em> asked: &quot;Is it so serious if 18- to 30-year-olds read less, little or not at all? There are so many other things to do at that age . . . What is important is intellectual curiosity, rather than books.&quot; </p>