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Frequency of reading books in Germany 2016-2020

Over a third of the German population stated they read books less than once a month. Even less did so several times a week. The number of German readers interested in books in the first place, meanwhile, has begun to pick up.

Reading habits

In terms of reading habits, most consumers are quite involved with reading magazines, at least as far as print is concerned, and turn to them for anything from inspiration to concentrating on particular articles. Reading books during leisure time is still done by most less than once a month or even never. At the same time, the number of people reading books on electronic devices (smartphones, tablets, e-readers) is gradually increasing. Print foreign-language newspapers and books are also accessible in Germany, and while the number of people never reading them has remained pretty much consistent, the number of readers who do so regularly is growing.

Children and teenagers

And what of specifically younger reader generations in Germany? Based on recent surveys, the largest share of children stated they liked to read. The share of teenagers who liked to read daily or several times a week fluctuated somewhat, but generally remained at around 40 percent.

Number of people reading books in Germany from 2016-2020, by frequency

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period

2016 to 2020

Age group

14 years and older

Special properties

German-speaking population, private households

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

Information on base:
German-speaking resident population aged 14 years and older.

Information on random sample:
n (2016)=23,854, projected to 69.56 million.
n (2017)=23,356, projected to 70.09 million.
n (2018)=23,389, projected to 70.45 million.
n (2019)=23,318, projected to 70.60 million.
n (2020)=23,191, projected to 70.64 million.

You can find further information on the methodology of the study here.

The original question was phrased by the source as follows: "How often do you find the time to read a book? Would you say..." (original German question: "Was würden Sie ungefähr schätzen, wie oft Sie dazu kommen, ein Buch zur Hand zu nehmen - würden Sie sagen ...").

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Statistics on "Media usage in Germany"

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