A new report from the Icelandic Literature Center has shed new and interesting light on the reading habits of Icelanders. The annual study has been carried out since 2017.
On average, Icelanders listen to 2.4 books per month, with 32% of the nation reading at least once a day.
However, Icelandic readership is undergoing a notable shift, with both the groups of those who never read and those who “binge read” growing.
The study also reported a marked difference between the genders, with women reading significantly more than men. The gender gap also correlates with a gap in education, with the college-educated generally reading more than those with a secondary level of education.
Older people were found to read on average more than younger people, with the youngest group polled, those between 18 and 24, reading the least out of all groups.
In a comparison between the capital region and Iceland’s countryside, no significant difference was recorded.
Some 65% of Icelanders read either exclusively or mostly in Icelandic. This represents a slight change from last year, when the figure sat at 58%. 18% of those polled read equally in Icelandic and another language, with another 14% of residents reading more often in another language than Icelandic. Finally, 3% of those polled read exclusively in another language. The language difference also breaks down along age, with those 34 and younger generally reading in other languages more often than the older groups polled.
Usage of public library resources was also recorded, with women again using the library more often than men. Among the top users of public libraries were households with two or more children.
The report, which can be read in full here, was authored in cooperation with the Reykjavík City Library, Association of Icelandic Publishers, Hagþenkir, the National and University Library of Iceland, Reykjavík UNSECO City of Literature, and the Writers’ Union of Iceland.