Brits are reading more during lockdown for escapism but there’s a surprising genre experiencing a surge

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  • People across the country are reading more as a result of lockdown, with new figures suggesting one in three people are turning to books during uncertain times.

    The Reading Agency figures suggest that 31 per cent of people have been reading more following lockdown restrictions.

    Most are reading fiction novels, with popular genres being classic stories and crime novels.

    This information was collated following World Book Night on 23rd April 2020, which sees people coming together for Reading Hour.

    It’s run by The Reading Agency, a national charity that supports the proven power of reading.

    Their survey looked into the reading habits of people across the nation.

    Physical reading as well as e-books and audiobooks were all popular during this period.

    Many people surveyed cited reading as a ‘form of release, escapism of distraction’ and that they had more time to read now.

    What is the surprising genre experiencing a surge?

    While most people are reading to escape reality, the surprising stories seeing a boost in sales are the ones actually involving fictional epidemics – such as Albert Camus’ The Plague, and The Viral Storm by Nathan D. Wolfe.

    The Viral Storm in particular was up a whopping 1393.2 per cent as a result of COVID-19.

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    Brits reveal why they’re reading more

    Many people shared their reasons for choosing books during this difficult time.

    One anonymous 75-year-old said, “I can lose myself in a book and it sort of keeps me company as my partner and I live in different places and we have to be on lock down in our own homes many miles apart.”

    And a 67-year-old said, “It takes me to another, better place and allows me to escape the current situation for a while.”

    Debbie Hicks of The Reading Agency said, “This year’s World Book Night celebrations provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the proven power of reading to connect people through reading.

    “Never has this connectivity been needed more than at this anxious time of social distancing.”

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