• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Majority of Italians never read a book

The Local · 16 Jan 2015, 15:44

Published: 16 Jan 2015 15:44 GMT+01:00

Just 41.1 percent of Italians over the age of six read a book for pleasure last year, marking a gradual decline from 46.8 percent in 2010.

Women and girls were shown to consistently be far greater readers than their male counterparts, with 48 percent picking up a book last year compared to just 34.5 percent of men and boys.

Bookworms are most likely to be found in the north, Istat said, where between 48.1 and 49.0 percent of Italians read at least one book in 2014.

This is in marked contrast to southern Italy, where just 29.4 percent read for pleasure last year. The figure rose slightly to 31.1 percent on the Italian islands.

There were no books at all in 9.8 percent of family homes, a figure which rose to 19.1 percent in southern Basilicata and 18.1 percent in Sicily.

But book ownership does not necessarily translate into book reading, Istat found. Over a fifth of Italians that boasted having over 400 books at home admitted they hadn’t read even one in the past year.

Story continues below…

Despite a gradual decline in the number of people reading books, the publishing industry has increased production. Print runs increased by 2.5 percent in 2013 and the number of titles published went up by 6.3 percent, Istat said.

The same year saw an increase of 18.6 percent for children’s literature, while production of school textbooks jumped by 23.1 percent. 

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Forty children drown as shipwrecks claim up to 700
A migrant boat capsizing last week. Photo: Courtesy of Marina Militare

A week of shipwrecks and death in the Mediterranean culminated Sunday with harrowing testimony from migrant survivors who said another 500 people including 40 children had drowned, bringing the number of feared dead to 700.

Dozens missing in fresh migrant shipwreck: rescuers
Dozens more migrants are reported missing after a fishing boat sank on Friday. Photo: AFP

The Italian coastguard is searching for survivors after an overloaded fishing boat sank off the coast of Libya.

'Racist' Chinese ad causes outrage...but Italy did it first
Screengrab: Qiaobi/YouTube

A TV advert for a Chinese laundry detergent has been widely condemned, with commentators saying it’s the most racist ad to ever be screened. But hang on, a similar one was made in Italy...

Alicia Keys to sing live at Milan Champions League final
Alicia Keys will become the first person to sing live at a Champions League final. Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/AFP

The final will be held at Milan's San Siro stadium on Saturday.

Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
The wreck of the P311. Photo: Massimo Domenico Bondone

People were stunned by the discovery of a body-filled, Second World War-era submarine off the coast of Sardinia earlier this week, not least Paul Denison, who told The Local his great-uncle was among the 71 who perished on board.

Man can pay ex-wife's alimony with pizza, Italian court rules
A court in Padua has ruled in favour of a divorced father who pays alimony to his ex-wife in the form of pizza. Photo: Erich Ferdinand/Flickr

Every family's needs are different...

Iconic photos of Hiroshima horror go on show in Rome
Ken Domon at work. Photo: Wikimedia commons

It is the first time the works have gone on display outside Japan.

Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
The research paints a grim picture of the dangers faced by ancient Roman workers . Photo: Carla Caladarini

The average Roman worker suffered several broken bones, had arthritis at 20 and was dead by 30.

Video
Over 100 feared dead in new migrant boat tragedies in Med
An image taken of Wednesday's migrant shipwreck. Photo: Marina Miltare

Over 100 migrants were feared dead on Thursday after two crowded boats capsized off Libya in separate incidents, with one of the tragedies captured on video that shows dramatic rescues and desperate final moments.

Italian man lay dead in flat for 5 years before anyone noticed
The man's body was found at his home in Cagliari, Sardinia. Photo: Simon Frost

"Nobody questioned his disappearance, nobody went looking for him."

Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
2,522
jobs available