A survey conducted by ACNielsen for the government book promotion, Books Alive, in June 2001, found that 78% of people aged 18 years and over in Australia read for pleasure every day or on most days of the week. About 11% read occasionally during the month, 7% only read every few months while 4% never read. People more likely to read frequently were: females; older people; and those with post-school qualifications.
The survey also found that the most popular reading material was newspapers, with 91% of people having read a newspaper for pleasure in the week before interview. This compares with 72% of people who had read books for pleasure and 63% who had read magazines in the same period.
A household survey conducted by the ABS on the activities of 5-14 year olds in 2003 showed that girls were more likely to read for pleasure than boys at any age. Overall, 82% of girls read for pleasure during the two-week reference period compared with 68% of boys.
Girls also read for longer than boys - the average time spent by girls who read for pleasure during the two-week period was 8.6 hours, compared with 7.1 hours for boys.
1.8 Children aged 5-14 years who read for pleasure(a) - April 2003