Monday, 15 December 2008

Hope for the German-Speaking World

As Buchreport points out, three quarters of people in Germany read books! That's more than the previous survey found in 2000, when 28% said they never pick up a book all year.

A constant three percent read more than fifty books a year - the same figure applies to the number of translations in the English-speaking world, coincidentally. And 36% of us "individuals with a background of migration" read once or more a week, 11% of us every day (compared to 36% and 8% on average). You can download the study by Stiftung Lesen here.

The British National Literacy Trust offers various statistics, indicating that 34% of respondents never read books, although spending on books in the UK is rising faster than elsewhere (but books are more expensive than in the US and Germany). That makes the Germans and the rest of us living here pretty damn literate if you ask me.

Well, with all the amazing German and international books available here, can you blame us?

1 comment:

Karl-Marx-Straße said...

I can understand that due to the abolition of the net book agreement that books in total are more expensive in Britain than in Germany, but I doubt that this applies to the books that most people read or are likely to buy - bestsellers, cookbooks, autobiographies, television series tie-ins (so that's 'bestsellers' and 'bestsellers' then). Considering also that bestselling paperbacks are thrown in most people's faces whether they want to see them or not, e.g. at supermarket checkouts, often wearing garish "buy me, buy me NOW (and buy my friends too and get me even cheaper, it's unbelievable)" stickers, what's the excuse for less people buying books in the UK when compared to Germany? I presume the NLT statistics just actually show that spending on books has gone up amongst those who bought books anyway, and those who never read aren't tempted by supposed special offers.

I definately agree with the last two sentences. What the English-speaking world needs is their own Suhrkamp (and maybe a Volk und Welt, or Aufbau as were)