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Books Offer Best Form Of Escapism

A survey by the Publishers Association found reading to be more popular than going to the cinema or browsing social media, coming second only to watching TV.

It has been revealed that more people plan to escape into books than go to the cinema this summer. This has been due to a new polling survey from the Publishers Association.

The survey by the trade body showed that a third (33%) of people think that books offer them the best form of escapism when they’re having a bad day, coming second only to watching television (54%).

The survey of over 2,000 people also found that streaming services, looking at social media, listening to the radio and going to the pub or cinema were all less popular methods of escapism than reading.

People were also asked what they do with the books they’ve read, and the results suggest that they “overwhelmingly” keep, reuse or recycle them. The poll, in which people were able to choose more than one answer, found that 41% of people keep books for themselves, while 34% of them pass them on to family and friends.

A third said they give their used books to charity shops, while 12% sell them online. Only 7% of people said that they throw their books away.

Dan Conway, CEO of the Publishers Association, said the survey “not only shows the importance of books to people’s mental health and wellbeing, but is a testament to their longevity and value”.

“Books are a great way for us all to escape from our everyday routines, and if we are able to share that with our friends, families, and more widely, we could be making a huge difference to people’s lives without even realising it,” he continued, adding that the “UK publishing industry is booming”.

Last year was a record-breaking one for the publishing industry. The total income in 2022 was £6.9bn, with sales up 4% from 2021. There was a whopping 669m physical books sold in the UK in 2022, the highest overall level ever recorded!

The industry also saw an 8% increase in exports, taking the total sales to £4.1bn, with Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper series of graphic novels the biggest book export of 2022.

The poll coincides with the launch of the association’s Insights Dashboard for publishers, where they can look at trend data for the last six years.

Seeing as books are still as popular as ever, what will be your holiday reads this year?

You can read more on the benefits of reading here.

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