Read a book people whose line

Study: The majority of Germans reads regularly

61 percent of Germans read books regularly, only one in eight never reads. This has now been found in a current representative study. The classic paper book is facing increasing competition from e-books and audio books.

As part of a representative survey in September 2017, the market research institute SPLENDID RESEARCH asked 1,031 Germans between 18 and 69 years of age online about reading behavior and book preferences. The study looked at how often people read, which genres are most popular and how widespread paper books, e-books and audio books are. In addition, it was ascertained which sources of supply for books consumers use and which criteria they use to make their selection of literature.

Despite all prophecies of doom, the book is not dead. 61 percent of Germans regularly browse fiction or non-fiction, only a minority of 13 percent do not read at all. However, a downward trend can be discerned: while 28 percent of 50-59 year olds read every day or almost every day, it is only 15 percent of 18-29 year olds. Furthermore, there is a clear income gap: while more than half of the low-wage earners with a net household income of less than 1,100 euros rarely or never only reach for a book, this applies to just under a third of people in the income brackets above 4,000 euros.

The most popular is the crime genre, which 50 percent of the readers are enthusiastic about, followed by the thriller, which 46 percent enjoy to heart. In third place followed with the guidebook, the most popular non-fiction book category, which 32 percent of Germans like to read. Behind this, there are clear differences between the sexes in the ranking. While women like to reach for love and historical novels, for men non-fiction books on science and technology as well as on politics and contemporary history rank fourth and fifth.

The paper book is facing increasing competition from e-books and audio books. Nine out of ten readers still use classic printed matter, but two out of five book fans download e-books and almost one in four plays audio books. The audio literature primarily appeals to the mid-twenties, a good third of whom listen to his reading material. E-books are particularly popular in the higher income brackets, with almost half of them using the electronic reading option.

Online retail has replaced the stationary bookstore as the most important source of supply for books, but both channels are still used almost in parallel. 76 percent of consumers order reading material on the Internet and 67 percent go to a specialist shop in the city. The better online marketing opportunities do not seem to play the main role here, because the most important decision criterion when selecting literature is still the description of the content on the book for 43 percent. 27 percent of readers trust the recommendations and ratings in online retailing, while only 24 percent consider the advice of booksellers and librarians. "In order to be competitive in the long term, brick-and-mortar bookshops have to make better use of their competence and advisory advantage," says study director Kolja Turkiewicz from SPLENDID RESEARCH.

The full study is available free of charge at