60.2% of Murcians read books in their spare time, 6% more than a decade ago


According to the latest Reading Habits Barometer, the community is 4.6 points below the Spanish average

The Region of Murcia has been winning readers over the last decade. This is evident from the Barometer of Reading Habits and Book Purchases in Spain 2022, prepared by the Federation of Publishers Guilds of Spain (FGEE), sponsored by CEDRO and in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, presented yesterday by Minister Miquel Iceta; the President of the FGEE, Daniel Fernández; and the person in charge of the study, Óscar Chicharro. Specifically, the percentage of the population of the Region of Murcia reading a book for entertainment was 60.2%, 4.6 points below the Spanish average of 64.8%. The survey also shows that 68.4% of people over the age of 14 read books, whether for work or leisure. Of the readers surveyed, 96.1% read at least once a quarter and while 68.4% read books, the 71.9% who read newspapers stand out.

The percentage of casual book readers continued to grow in 2022, confirming the consolidation experienced following the significant rise in read rates during the pandemic. According to the autonomous communities, the region of Murcia is the fifth with the fewest readers in their free time, after Andalusia (59.7%), Castilla-La Mancha (59.6%), the Canary Islands (59.1%) and Extremadura (55.1%). Top of the list are Madrid (74.2%), Catalonia (68.7%), Navarre (68.2%) and the Basque Country (68.2%).

On this occasion, the Barometer looks at what has happened to reading in Spain over the last ten years. Since 2012, leisure reading rates have increased by 5.7 percentage points nationally (from 59.1% to 64.8%) and readership rates are higher in all Autonomous Communities, with higher growth in Asturias, Catalonia and Navarre. In the Murcia region, this increase was 6% (from 54.2% to 60.2%). Focusing exclusively on frequent readers, those who read at least once a week, this figure was maintained in 2022, at 52.5% of the population, but it has grown by 5.3 percentage points over the last decade. Occasional readers have remained practical throughout these years. Despite the fact that the data is positive, this report indicates that, although there is a decrease, there is still a significant number of Spaniards who never or hardly ever read (35.2%).

The data from the Barometer reflect other relevant aspects of reading habits in Spain based on age, gender, level of education and region of residence. Women are significantly more readers than men, 69.9% versus 59.5%. Curiously, although the percentage of readers has grown for both women and men, a difference of almost 10 points remains. In addition, the percentage of women who read in their spare time is significantly higher than that of men in all age groups, especially those aged 25 to 34.

By age, the section with the largest reading population is between 14 and 24 years old (74.2%). It is important to emphasize that since 2012, the percentage of readers aged 65 and over has risen above the overall growth average (from 38.2% to 51.9%).

In terms of study level, 86.5% of university students read in their free time. This figure falls to 62.3% among the population with secondary education and 39% among those who have only completed primary education.

The report also reflects the high reading rates among young people under the age of 18, especially those between the ages of 10 and 14. Children’s reading remains at high values.

Spaniards who do not have a reading habit claim that lack of free time (44%) is their main reason for not reading books. 30.6% indicate that they prefer to spend their free time on other entertainment such as walking, resting or watching series or films. For their part, 29.3% of non-readers showed a lack of interest, and 0.9% did not read for reasons of eyesight or health.

Reading in digital format remains stable, with 29.5% reading books in digital format. The ‘e-reader’ (12.9%) and the ‘tablet’ (10.3%) remain the most used devices and reading from mobile phones continues the upward trend. It should be noted that within the number of readers in digital form, the percentage of them who paid for the books has dropped to 39%. The percentage of people who downloaded free books grew compared to last year (66.3%, six points more than in 2021). 67% of those interviewed who download free e-books know very well when the download is not legal. 5.4% of the surveyed population listened to audiobooks at least once a quarter.

In terms of book purchases, the percentage of buyers has increased and traditional bookstores remain the main channel for purchase of non-text books, followed by the Internet and bookstore chains.

Regarding the use of libraries, in 2022 the percentage of the population that visited a library will grow by one point compared to the previous year (26.2%) and the use of these services is observed to have increased before the pandemic. The Barometer also indicates that public libraries are the most visited (89.7%) by the Spanish population. The Spaniards rate their usual library very positively and give it a remarkable high. The national average figure is 8.3, but the regions of Murcia and Galicia give these spaces the worst figure, 7.7. On the other side of the scale 8.8 for Catalonia.

Source: La Verdad


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