Skip to Content

NEWS FROM WritersServices 20 March 2004

About us

Are the days of the typewriter numbered?

20 March 2004

A survey of reading habits

Reading is the paradigm of mobile entertainment. The home, in transit and in work-breaks are all seized as opportunities to turn a few pages. Alarmingly, a dozen respondents read in their cars. One must hope they were passengers.

Bedtime reading is clearly popular with a quarter saying they regularly read just before lights out. The bathroom was proportionately more popular with men but this might be a problem of transatlantic misunderstanding. Rather than languishing in the bath with a good book, the males might be attending to another function.

Some of the older respondents had impressive libraries. Those with a small library had a higher proportion of factual and reference books. The suspicion must be that it the fiction that is dumped when younger people move.

Seventeen percent of people were reading a book that was a gift which is good news for the book business which shifts half its output in the months around the Christmas festival. However, the publishing houses would be less pleased to discover that 20% of the annual reading matter consists of re-reading old copies.

As for the favoured reading environment, loud music, talk radio and TV on did not attract a single vote. Silence received 70% of the vote with soft music as the only other contender.

"We hope to keep up these snapshots into the habits of the writers who visit our site" said Chas Jones the WritersServices sit manager. "There were a number of intriguing indicators such as why men read in bathroom and why women have so many DIY books. We might pursue these in later surveys."