A survey of 5,000 adults has revealed that one in four adults admit to reading only while on holiday, often wishing they had more time for reading in their day-to-day lives.
On average, adults go on holiday abroad once a year and read an average of 2.3 books during their trips. The preferred genres for holiday reading include mysteries (30 percent) and thrillers (29 percent), with men being more avid holiday readers than women.
The survey also highlighted regional differences in reading habits. People in Belfast and Brighton were found to be the most enthusiastic readers on holiday, while those in Leicester read the least. Additionally, 22 percent of adults reported diversifying their reading choices while on holiday, with residents of Birmingham, Cardiff, and Newcastle being the most likely to explore new genres. On the other hand, people in Manchester tended to stick to familiar genres, particularly mysteries and thrillers.
The survey revealed that 29 percent of respondents would feel ashamed to be seen reading a romance book during their daily commute, but 17 percent felt more confident about their book choices while on holiday. Romance novels were identified as the nation’s “most guilty holiday reading pleasure,” with readers in Wolverhampton, Liverpool, and Bristol specifically saving them for beachside reading, away from the judgment of acquaintances.
A spokesperson for TUI BLUE, the company that commissioned the research and introduced a book swap scheme in its hotels, emphasized the importance of finding time to relax and escape into a book. The spokesperson stated that holidays provide the ideal opportunity for “me moments” that are often difficult to find in the busy routines of daily life.
The survey also found that 51 percent of respondents were too occupied with family commitments to read frequently, while 31 percent prioritized other activities and 26 percent were busy with work goals. When reading, 59 percent preferred to do so in bed, while 15 percent read during their commute. On holiday, the most common reading locations were by the pool (56 percent), in the hotel room (45 percent), and on the balcony (42 percent).
The study indicated that book-borrowing is a growing trend, with 68 percent of respondents preferring physical books and only 17 percent favoring e-readers. Three-quarters of participants expressed a willingness to donate books they had read and enjoyed, and 51 percent were open to borrowing books from friends and family before going on holiday. Glaswegians were particularly generous, with 81 percent willing to donate books to others.
TUI BLUE’s spokesperson highlighted the rising popularity of book-borrowing and shared their own initiative to facilitate book swapping in their hotels. The spokesperson mentioned that guests can pick up pre-loved books and leave personal recommendations or warnings for fellow holidaymakers.