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Dutch youth increasingly reading books, survey shows

Nederlands Nieuws

Dutch youth increasingly reading books, survey shows

Young people in the Netherlands have been reading more over the past five years. Nearly half of all youngsters between the ages of 12 and 25 claim to read a book every week in their free time. This figure was only 39 percent in 2018, according to KVB Boekwerk, the knowledge platform of the book sector, based on research conducted by market researcher GfK.

The results were presented in line with the start of the Boekenweek van Jongeren (Youth Book Week in English), which kicked off on Friday.

Over half of the young people surveyed say they are frequently inspired to read due to the focus on reading on social media. TikTok and Instagram are the favorites. TikTok even has its own book community with the hashtag #BookTok. Almost half of TikTok users are familiar with this hashtag, and a quarter admit to actually reading books they have seen on TikTok.

Nearly one in eight young people even claim to open a book every day. The most popular genres among young people are thrillers and adventure, with two-fifths of those surveyed usually opting for these reads. Following this are young adult fiction (32 percent), and fantasy novels (29 percent).

In the 20-25 age group, self-help and psychology books are very popular. Three in ten individuals in this group say they read books on these topics.

Only 35 percent of all youngsters say they never read or only do so on vacation. This percentage was as high as 45 percent five years ago. Especially among people between the ages of 12 and 19, books seem to still have a somewhat poor image. The primary reason for not reading is a preference for other activities, followed by distractions from incoming messages on smartphones.

The study also reveals that reading in other languages is on the rise. About a third of young people between the ages of 16 and 25 prefer to read in English. The main reason for this is their desire to read books in the original language (39 percent) and to practice their language skills (32 percent). Some mention not enjoying the Dutch translations (32 percent) and that the variety of books available in other languages is greater (29 percent). Price only plays a minor role in the choice for English-language books.

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