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Icelanders Still Avid Readers

Icelandic women read an average of three and a half books a month, while Icelandic men read an average of two books during the same time. These are among the findings of a new survey conducted by the Icelandic Literature Center, which were released just in time for the country’s much-vaunted jólabókaflóð, or Christmas Book Flood, the annual surge in book publishing, selling, and gifting that happens during the holiday season.

The new data clearly shows that Iceland is still a nation of avid readers: 72% of the survey respondents reported that they’d read or listened to a book (either in full or in part) in the last 30 days. About 86% of respondents reported that they’d read a traditional printed book in the last 12 months, 31% had read an e-book, and 35% had listened to an audio book.

Most Icelanders, or 56%, turn to friends or family members for reading suggestions, although the media is also an important source of recommendations according to 40% of respondents.

Interestingly, young people aged 18-24 think it is more important than other age groups that Icelandic literature receives public support, although 79% of Icelanders across the age spectrum agree with this assessment.

The survey was conducted by Zenter Research from October 31 – November 12, 2018, during which time 2,480 individuals 18 years and older were asked questions on their reading habits, what languages they read in, where they get their reading recommendations, and more. In total 1,311 people responded.

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