This is why we’re not reading as much as we want to (even if we won’t admit it)

Posted by
Hayley Spencer

There’s no better way to decompress and switch off than by getting stuck into a good book. But according to a new survey, having a stressful life is the most commonly cited reason for why we don’t have enough time to read as much as we would like.

The survey, commissioned to mark World Book Day, reveals that 67% of Brits say they would like to read more and 48% blame their busy lifestyles for their literary shortcomings.

Reading was shown to have a stress-relieving effect for those who did find the time however, with 59% saying they turn to books in times of stress, illness and anxiety.

Reading on the train

Sue Wilkinson, the Chief Director of the Reading Agency, said: "It's great to see from our research that Brits still love to read, but not surprising that some people feel they are too busy to do so.

“Finding the right book can be key to getting back into the reading habit, and our research shows how influential book recommendations and book-gifting can be.”

However, it’s clear that those surveyed had strong opinions on what they should have read already; 41% of participants said they stretched the truth about what or how much they have read. This was highest in the 16-24 age group, with 64% of the millennial demographic saying they’ve lied about their reading habits.

And while a survey last year claimed Alice in Wonderland was the book people were most likely to lie about having read, according to The Independent, there’s a whole series in the top spot this year – James Bond.

The full list of 13 books is comprised entirely of novels that have been turned into films at one point or another:

  1. James Bond books, Ian Fleming
  2. Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis
  4. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
  5. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  6. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
  7. The Wizard of Oz, L Frank Baum
  8. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
  9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
  10. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
  11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
  12. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  13. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini

Guilty of any of these?

Images: iStock