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Men are giving up on reading books – because they prefer to watch the big screen version instead, a study has revealed. Researchers found that being too busy, not enjoying reading and preferring to spend their spare time on the internet means men read fewer books, read more slowly and are less likely to finish them than women.
Men are also more likely to watch a film or TV adaptation instead of reading the book for themselves.
It also emerged that almost 30% of men haven’t really picked up a book since they were obliged to at school.
The study was commissioned by the Reading Agency to mark World Book Night on April 23rd, the annual celebration of reading that sees thousands of passionate volunteers gifting hundreds of thousands of free books to reluctant readers in their communities.
Sue Wilkinson, CEO of the Reading Agency, said:
‘We know reading is really important, so we’ve got to get more people in general, particularly men, to pick up a book.
”It seems that men recognise the value of reading books but admit that they don’t do it as much as they might for several reasons.
”TV shows and films, and the internet, are competing for people’s time these days, especially that of young men, and our focus is to remind them of the pleasure that can be derived from reading a book as well.
”This year’s World Book Night list of 20 books was selected with these young men in mind.”
The study, of 2,000 Brits found that 63% of men know they don’t read as much as they should.
And more than four in ten men are reading fewer books now than they did in the past – with a lack of time the common excuse for not picking one up.
Another one in five said they find it difficult or don’t enjoy it, while a third simply prefer to surf the internet.
Three in ten would also rather watch film and TV.
Nearly three quarters of men also admitted they would opt for the film or TV version of a book whereas the same percentage of women were as likely to go for the book itself.
It also emerged that women are more likely to have bought or borrowed a book this year, with more visiting book shops, libraries, supermarket book aisles and online retailers than men.
And one in five men even admitted they have pretended to have read a specific title in order to appear more intelligent.
Sue Wilkinson added:
”Join us in reaching out to reluctant readers. You can still participate in World Book Night by signing up to be a Community Book Giver and giving one book, any book, to a man in your community whom you think might benefit from it.
”You can also go along to any of the events happening nationwide on World Book Night, April 23.
”Our focus this year is to give these books to men who aren’t reading enough and show them what they are missing. Next year our challenge is to have inspired them to apply to be volunteer givers themselves.
”Reading really can change your life.”