People in India spend 10 hours and 42 minutes a week reading, the most of any country on Earth. The U.S. makes up about 30% of the world’s book-buying population. But Americans don’t crack the top 5 for the time spent reading metric.
Where do most readers live? People in India read the most
India, Thailand, China, Phillippines, and Egypt round out the top 5 for the most time spent reading per person, on average, per week.
Data collected between 2017 and 2022 showed that:
- India ranks first, with people spending 10 hours and 42 minutes reading per week (556.4 hours per year).
- Thailand ranks second with weekly totals averaging 9 hours and 24 minutes (488.8 hours per year).
- China readers average 8 hours a week (or 416 hours per year).
- Those in the Philippines tend to read 7 hours and 36 minutes per week (395.2 per year.)
- And Egyptians read for 7 hours and 30 minutes per week (or 390 minutes per year).
Books and their readers
Data collected between 2011 and 2020 shows that Americans love buying books (and they do read them, so it’s not just book hoarding). And most Americans do read books.
The World Population Review compiled numbers from various research studies and showed that while people in India read the most (in terms of hours spent reading):
Altogether, Americans read 275,232 books per year and makeup 30% of the market share of book buyers. A Pew Research Center study published in 2016 found that 72% of Americans had read a book the preceding year, a number that rose to 75% in 2022. But that rise was almost certainly due to the pandemic keeping people at home. In 2016 Americans read an average of 12 books a year (though 50% of the nation reads 4 or fewer, so we’re depending on some people to read a lot of books to make us look good). But we still tend to read more physical books than e-books, even though the e-book trend is growing in the U.S.
In other countries:
- China reads 208,418 books on average per year (10% of all books purchased).
- The United Kingdom reads about 188,000 books every year, and book sales have reached about 212 million!)
- Japan makes up 7% of the market share for book buyers, and the Japanese read an average of 139,078 books per year. This makes up about 7% of the total market share.
What are the most popular books in the world? Well, you can probably guess – it’s the Holy Bible and the Holy Qu’ran. Next in line come The Harry Potter Series, The Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse Tung, and Lord of the Rings. Eclectic! — WTF fun facts
Source: “Average Books Read Per Year by Country 2023” — World Population Review