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The National Reading Campaign, in partnership with Access Copyright, recently commissioned a study by Environics Research Group to gather benchmark data about the pleasure reading habits of Canadians. Based on a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Canadians, the survey results revealed a population of passionate readers still very engaged with traditional reading platforms, and a group of Canadians not reading for pleasure in any medium.

82% of Canadians read for pleasure as often or more often than they did last year. Books are the overwhelmingly preferred medium, with 70% of readers preferring them to magazines, newspapers, and blogs. While level of education is linked to the amount of reading done for pleasure, level of income is not. Those reading the most have family incomes of from $30,000 to under $50,000.

Although the percentage of Canadians reading for pleasure is high, 12% of Canadians reported reading for pleasure less than they did last year and 5% admitted to not reading for pleasure at all. These figures combine to reveal that one in five Canadians does not read for enjoyment or does so less than they used to.

The study additionally revealed that:

  • 49% have used library services in the past year
  • 45% of Canadians reported that their reading of electronic publications has increased in the past year
  • More men report an increase in reading e-publications
  • Library use is higher in urban centres

Past research has found that reading for pleasure is linked to better overall satisfaction with life, higher incomes, healthier relationships (lower divorce rates), and better mental health.

The National Reading Campaign hopes that these figures will draw attention to the need to bring the benefits of reading for pleasure to all Canadians.

Results of the survey can be read here: Environics – National Reading Campaign – Survey report.