Women read more than men in Spain and the gap is rising. According to the latest Barometer of Reading and Buying Book Habits of the Federation of Publishers’ Guilds of Spain (FGEE), presented this Friday, that difference has increased one percentage point over the previous study, which collected the 2018 data. Specifically, 68.3% of women read books in their spare time compared to 56% of men.
According to that reality, the most typical profile of the book reader in Spain is a woman over 55, with university studies and living in an urban area. 83% of them read books at least once a week, according to the data of this sample prepared with information from 5,000 individuals by the company Conecta Research & Consulting for the FGEE, in which the Ministry of Culture collaborates.
As for men, their profile is coincident with that of women: an individual 55 years or older, also with university studies and resident in an urban area. Most of them, 76.7%, read in their free time.
However, reading rates continue to improve in Spain. 68.5% of the population reads, in a trend that has experienced a growth of 8.2 points since 2010. The percentage of reading in leisure time has increased by 5.2% since 2010. Half of this audience Also, read at least twice a week. The percentage of book readers who read daily in their spare time has stabilized at 32% after having increased the previous year. In perspective, since 2010 this figure has increased by 5.1 points.
But not all data is bright. A high percentage of the population does not read books almost never in their free time: 37.8%. While the main reason for reading is still entertainment, those who do not have the habit argue as the main excuse that they do not have time (41%). Of that 37.8%, 31.5 never reads books.
In the presentation of the study, the Minister of Culture and Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, has defined the reading as “a matter of State” and, therefore, has affirmed that making it a habit “is a fundamental objective” of his ministry “In dialogue with the territories, the political and social forces, the Iberian sector and the citizenship.” Rodríguez Uribes has considered “a great fact” the increase in readers in Spain, despite not being “spectacular”, but “constant and hopeful.”
By territories, six communities are above the Spanish average (62.2%), in this order: Madrid, Basque Country, Navarra, Catalonia, La Rioja and Aragón. The other 11, although they have improved reading rates compared to the previous year, remain behind, Extremadura being the worst positioned with 52.2%.
As for digital support, the percentage of readers has increased to 29.1%, slightly less than one point than the previous year. The free download is still the main way to obtain digital books (54.7%).
62.6% of Spaniards bought a book according to the 2019 study, including textbooks. They are just two tenths more than the previous year. Those who they bought books that were not text were 50.4%. The main acquisition channel is still the traditional bookstore, followed by the Internet.