Reading books seen as “an anti-social activity for people who don’t know how to live.”

A British report based on research conducted by HarperCollins, the Trade Publishers Council and the National Year of Reading (NYR) says the book trade is out-of-touch ["too intimidating"] towards the C2DE socio-economic group, characterized as lower income, non-professional families. Many families in this group [comprising about 20 million people in the UK] felt books are “alien and unattractive.” In still very class-conscious England, to many in this “lower class” group, reading is apparently considered “an anti-social activity for people who don’t know how to live.”

One wonders if some publisher will rush out to install video-gambling-dart-karaoke-eBook machines in pubs to reach these people where they “know how to live.” Or maybe add coupons for chips and Guiness in each book?

National Reading Year’s Honor Wilson-Fletcher is quoted as saying: “These are good solid families who don’t have literacy problems but who just don’t read. They are one step away from book-buying – they do consume lots of leisure products and may have 2-300 DVDs in the house. But intentionally or otherwise, a lot of people involved in the book world are conveying the impression that reading is associated with a particular area of society and lifestyle.”

Here’s a link to a story about this report at

thanks, cheers,


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