Non Flash Content - Children running through a field of corn survey reveals all about Irish reading habits


74% of Irish People Read Over Six Books a Year. 42% have more than 100 books on shelves in their home.

We are a nation of readers and a nation of hoarders. These are the main findings of comprehensive research of Irish adults and their reading habits conducted by

74% of Irish people claim to read more than six books every year with 42% of us stating we read over 12 books per annum.

The research of Irish adults nationwide, conducted by Ireland's largest book club, found that our beds is where most of us prefer to get stuck into a book (56%) followed by the sitting room (25%). 46% of those surveyed spend over three hours each week with their head in a book. Launched in September 2010, the already has over 6,500 members, another sign of the phenomenal interest in books and reading in this country.

A Nation of Hoarders

When we are finished with our books, the research has shown that most people (52%) put them proudly on a bookshelf with only a tiny minority (1%) choosing to discard them completely and throw them out.

72% estimate that they are keeping over 50 books in their home and 42% state they have more than 100. With books being worth on average between 50c and €1 charity stores*, this could prove a lucrative earner for those in need. Currently relatively few of us (13%) donate our used books to charity.

Despite all the advances in technology, we haven't yet traded our affection for the printed word to reading on iPads or other devices as 95% of those surveyed said they like to read a traditional book as opposed to listening to an audio book or reading on an e-reader.

Good news for book reviewers is that when it comes to picking which title to read, 42% take on board what reviewers recommend but the word of mouth is still king as 45% rely on friends and family when it comes to choosing books to buy and read.

Lastly, when stranded on a desert island, those researched plumped for Lord of the Rings as the book they would most like to read, followed by Pride and Prejudice, The Life of Pi and of course, How to get off a Desert Island!

Nicky Doran, head of marketing for Bord Gáis Energy stated; "It is great to see that Irish people are still a nation of readers with nearly three in every four of us reading over six books a year. It is also encouraging that reading remains a popular past time despite all the other distractions.

"Bord Gáis Energy is delighted to support reading initiatives and our online book club has already attracted over 6,500 members in just over six weeks, providing a resource to book clubs, libraries and book lovers all over the country." is a hub of reading activity providing book reviews, recommendations, a forum for discussions as well as profiling of book clubs around the country and lots more.

* Information sourced from Barnardos and Oxfam Key Findings:

420 adults were surveyed with a 58:42 female to male ratio.

How many books do you read a year?
  • 74% of people read more than six books in a year
  • 42% of these read 12 or more
Where do you read?
  • 56% of people spend most of their time reading in their bed
  • 25% in sitting room
  • 18% while commuting
How much time do you spend reading each week?
  • 47% spend between 1 and 3 hours a week reading
  • 36% spend 3 - 7 hrs
  • 10% are over 7 hrs
What do you do with books once you have finished reading them?
  • 52% keep their books on their bookshelves when done
  • 34% swap with friends
  • 13% give to charity
  • 1% throw them out
How many books do you currently have in your home?
  • 72% estimate that they have over 50 books in their home
  • 42% have over 100
  • 12% have over 300
  • 3% have over 500
How do you prefer to consume a book?
  • 95% prefer to read traditional book rather than ipad or audio books
  • 4% prefer to read on iPad
  • 1% prefer to listen to audio book
What influences you most when choosing a new book to read?
  • 45% take recommendations from friends & family
  • 42% take it from media reviews
What is your preferred entertainment option?
  • Reading is second favourite pastime (28%) ahead of cinema, tv, internet but second to watching/playing sport (31%)
What book would you like on a desert island (unprompted):
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • The Life of Pi
  • SAS Survival Guide
  • How to Survive on a Desert Island
  • The Bible
  • Ullyses

Stiofáin MacDháibhéad,
Bord Gáis Energy
Tel: 01 6021116
Mobile: 087 7991206

Kelli Slattery
Pembroke Communications
Tel: 01 649 6460
Mobile: 086-841 7064

Sarah Wagstaff
Pembroke Communications
Tel: 01 649 6473
Mobile: 087-647 0957