World Reading Habits in 2018 (Infographic)

Avatar by Brendan Brown | July 27, 2020, 4:16 am

We may be watching more Netflix than ever, but the world continued to read victoriously in 2018.

Global English Editing have compiled this mega infographic on world reading habits in 2018, following on from our 2017 edition. We show who read the most, what we read, as well as lots of other fascinating insights into the reading landscape.

As you’ll see, India, Thailand and China won gold, silver and bronze, respectively, for reading the most throughout the year. Go India!

However, America and Europe were no laggards. 74% of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months, and the average European spent $240 USD on reading material.

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We’re reading about politics more than every before too. The most popular print book this year was Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, although most European countries preferred Becoming by Michelle Obama.

And did you know that 7 of the 8 most borrowed books from Australian libraries this year were from the Harry Potter series?

Check out the infographic below for all the insights into world reading habits in 2018.

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India rules the world in terms of reading time, Harry Potter’s magic is still reigning supreme in Australia and girls are leading the front when it comes to reading fiction.

The World Reading Habits in 2018 infographic presented above offers a stunning view on the global reading habits in 2018.

Let’s go over some of the most interesting facts presented in this infographic, authored and compiled by the team at Global English Editing, the leading online proofreading service.

East Trumps the West When it Comes to Reading Times

Did you know that people living on the Eastern side of the globe allocate far more time for reading each week than their Western counterparts?

As surprising as it may sound, it’s actually true.

Countries like India, China, Thailand, and the Philippines are places where you can expect people to read for more than 7 hours each week, according to the latest data.

And while this powerful habit has really caught on in the East, countries in the West were found to be spending lesser time reading, even lower than the global average.

As such, no one reads for even 6 hours each week in countries like USA, Canada, and Germany. This is an alarming trend as it signifies that people are no longer as interested in reading books.

European Spending On Books Rose Beyond Their Holiday Costs

From the figures that have emerged, it can be said with certainty that Europeans prefer reading and consider it as a fun activity.

We can say this because the European budget for books touched the 200 Euro mark this year, which is higher than the budget earmarked for holidays to different locales.

However, this might not hold true for European nations like France, where daily reading time is only 2 minutes. Estonia, on the other hand, leads the list for daily time spent reading with 13 minutes.

As far as popularity is concerned, Michelle Obama is still staying relevant across the continent even if she is no longer the FLOTUS.

For instance, her book, “Becoming”, in which she has shared her story as a mother, first lady and health campaigner, was extremely popular in several countries including Greece, Finland, Spain, and France.

Africans Prefer Mobile Screens

The global internet penetration rate has allowed people from across the world to access things that they couldn’t have otherwise.

Consider this: In Africa, the reading time on mobile jumped up by a whopping 32% in 2018.

The total amount of reading hours on mobile by Africans per year equals to around 24 minutes of content watched on YouTube every day. That’s 4 million hours, an incredible figure that tells us how much easier it has become for Africans to access good literature, thanks to the internet and mobile phones.

But wait, that’s not it. Women, who make up just 35% of the total readership base in Africa, actually spend more time reading than the entire population of Hungary and Greece.

At 11.5 minutes per day, the reading time of African women comes very close to that of Poland and Finland – both European nations that have some of the best reading time in the continent.

On the flip side, far more African men tend to read than their female counterparts, but they don’t spend a lot of time doing it. Their daily average reading time is 6.5 minutes per day – just a bit above certain European countries with an average reading time on the lower side of the spectrum.

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Harry Potter Is On Every Reading List

The most-mind boggling statistic to come out of Australia during the compilation of this infographic was that people just can’t enough of what J.K Rowling writes. Out of every 8 books that are borrowed from public libraries, 7 are most definitely from the Harry Potter series.

Similarly, New Zealand also has a lot of readers, with 86% of adults reporting that they have read or started a new book in the past year. All generations of Kiwis like to read.

But what’s more surprising is the fact that a lot of New Zealanders admire poetry as much as they admire prose. 30% of readers in the country regularly read poetry, with 57% of them belonging to indigenous writers.

Estonia Doesn’t Just Love Reading, It Loves Books

Estonians are setting a benchmark for the whole world to follow when it comes to valuing the written word.

In addition to topping the average reading time per week, Estonians also own the highest number of books per individual as well.

Norway and Demark are the other Nordic countries that share Estonia’s passion for books, with 212 and 204 books owned per household, respectively.

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Lesson From 2018: If You Want To Write A Successful Book, Make It About Donald Trump

The US President isn’t just making global headlines these days; he is ruling the world of books and literature as well.

For instance, a book on his time in the office by Michael Wolf – Fire and Fury – was the top printed book in 2018.

Other books to do extremely well this year include; “Magnolia Table” by Joanna Galnes at #2 and “A Day in the Life of Marlun Brundo” by Marlon Brundo breaking into the top 10 at #6.

Frankenstein’s 200th Birthday

It’s been 200 years since Frankenstein was first published; today, we can confidently say that the old classic has had a deep impact on the world culture and is reflected in numerous books, movies, and TV shows to date.

Wrapping Things Up

The written word is our heritage as humans.

This is a small effort by Global English Editing to highlight the value and importance of books in our lives and how they continue to enrich and enhance our overall society.

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