In 2014, over 23.8 million people aged 6 and over have read at least one book during the 12 months prior to the interview, for reasons not related to work or school. Compared to 2013, the share of book readers decreased from 43% to 41.4%.
Women read more than men: 48% of women read at least one book, compared to 34.5% of men. Gender difference in reading behaviour becomes evident as early as the age of 6.
Readers were over 50% of the population only among the 11-19 age group, while the age group that reads most was 11-14 (53.5%).
Family influences propensity to read: among young people aged between 6 and 14, those with both parents who read are very frequently (66.9%) book readers too, vs 32.7% of those with parents who do not read.
In the South and the Islands area, book reading remains much less frequent than in the rest of the Country: less than one person out of three living in the South and the Islands has read at least one book (the readers’ share of the population is, respectively, 29.4% and 31.1%). Readers’ share in the metropolitan areas is 50.8%, while in urban centers with less than 2,000 inhabitants is 37.2%.
Nearly one family out of ten (9.8%) reported they had no books at home; 63.5% had no more than 100 books.
“Strong readers”, i.e. those who read at least one book per month on average, represented 14.3% of readers, a substantially stable category over time. The book reading crisis is mainly due to a decrease of the “weak readers” (from 11.5 million in 2013 to 10.7 in 2014, -6.8% in one year). About one reader out of two (45%) has read three books at maximum in one year.