Most New Zealanders enjoy reading

The Book Council survey of over 2000 adults found that 88% of those people had read a book in the past year. The average number of books read was 22.6 books in a year. 52% said they had read at least one book written by a New Zealander. Slightly more women than men had read a book in the past year (91% of women, 84% of men). Fiction was a little more popular than non-fiction. The most popular fiction was crime, thriller or adventure. The most popular non-fiction was biography and auto-biography. The main reasons given for reading was for relaxation and enjoyment.

Just over half of the people got their books from a public library. This was especially true of those who read a lot of books. Most people preferred print books but 22% said they sometimes read an e-book and 4% said they listened to an audio book.

All age groups had a high number of people who read (close to 90%) but the lowest age group was 45 to 54 years of age, at 81%. Perhaps this is the age group of the busiest people.

A disappointing result showed that 12% do not read. They said they were too busy, did not enjoy reading or couldn’t find a book which interested them. Some said they preferred to watch a movie made from a book.

Of those who did not read, many had a low income. This is one reason that children need to read so that they will continue reading as adults. Children need to see parents reading and parents need to read to children so that they will learn to enjoy books.

Discussion questions

• What books do you enjoy reading?
• Is it important to read? Why or why not?
• What value is there is reading fiction?
• Do you read e-books? What are the advantages and disadvantages of e-books?
• Most parents know how difficult it is to limit children’s use of electronic devices – phones, i-pads etc. Does the attraction of these devices mean that children do not read so much these days.


  1. Suspense
    It is important to read because this is a stupid idea

  2. It’s not clear what you mean. What is stupid?

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