Pandemic spikes youth reading habits, TRA survey finds

Pandemic spikes youth reading habits, TRA survey finds

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a spike in reading among young adults, a survey from The Reading Agency has found.

Conducted ahead of World Book Night today (23rd April), the survey polled over 2,000 people across the UK.

It found that 45% of 18-24 year olds were reading more, particularly non-fiction, crime and classic literature. Books about fictional epidemics, including Albert Camus' The Plague and The Viral Storm by Nathan D Wolfe had increased their readership by over 1,300%.

Publishers also reported a substantial rise in classic literature sales, with Penguin Classics showing a 64.5% increase in sales the week prior to UK lockdown.

Regionally, respondents in Northern Ireland were the most likely to say they were reading more, with 39% reporting increase, followed by participants in London at 34%.

TRA creative director Debbie Hicks said: “This year’s World Book Night celebrations provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the proven power of reading to connect people through reading.

"Never has this connectivity been needed more than at this anxious time of social distancing. Talking about reading and sharing book recommendations on April 23 as part of #Reading Hour will bring individuals, friends and families together to connect a nation in self isolation, whilst also stimulating learning and creativity and providing escapism and relief.”