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Most popular book genres read in France 2019

In 2019, the most popular book genre in France was related to DIY (do-it-yourself), leisure and lifestyle activities. Despite the development of new technologies and social networks over the past decade, reading keeps being one of the favorite activities in France. In the country of famous writers like Victor Hugo or Molière, the majority of the population likes to see itself as more than average reader.

A passion for hobbies and personal activities

When looking at the statistic it appears that the most popular book genres in France concern leisure activities, hobbies and education. History books were mentioned by 45 percent of French surveyed, as well as art and photography books which were preferred by 43 percent of interviewees. This interest corresponds to the expansion of leisure and DIY activities in general in recent years, due to their perception of being relaxing as well as a way of providing personal development. Fiction, with the exception of comics, does not seem to delight the hearts of French people when it comes to reading.

A major market

In 2016, more than 434 million book copies were sold in France. The French book market is one of the most important in Europe, while the average French reports reading 5 to 9 books print books per year. In 2017, the comic books “Astérix 37: Asterix et la Transitalique” was the bestselling book in France, sold close to 1.6 million copies in the country that year. Even though e-books are getting popular, especially among younger generations, the French seem to prefer print format. In 2017, 89 percent of the population in France read print books, compared to 24 percent for digital books.

Penetration of book reading in France in 2019, by book genre

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Release date

March 2019



Survey time period


Number of respondents

1,000 respondents

Age group

15 years and older

Method of interview

Computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI)

Supplementary notes

This question was phrased by the source as follows:
"Parmi les genres de livres que je vais vous citer, quels sont tous ceux que vous avez lu, au cours des 12 derniers mois, que ce soit au format papier ou au format numérique?"

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Statistics on "Books in France"

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