Canadians Still Reading

See below for some happy-making stats from a recently released survey.  

Two questions occur though – how do they correct for the people who over-represent their reading habits?  (Even if asked anonymously, some might be inclined to say that they read more than they do.  What's the term for that?  Where you try to please the researcher or give them the answers they want to hear?) 

My other question – what's the impact of the Internet on traditional forms of reading?  This blurb ends by saying that magazine reading is down slightly and newspaper reading is down more substantially but doesn't speculate about the impact of the Internet on that (I didn't read the full report so maybe it's covered in there?) 

But anyhow, I
rarely pick up a print newspaper anymore and very infrequently buy a magazine either.  But I do read stories online from
CBC, Canoe, Globe and Mail, etc., I read online articles from Rolling Stone, MacLean's, Time plus numerous aggregators of all types of news in its most broad sense.  (NewsVine,
Google News, sites like MetaFilter, etc.)

On that note, did you hear Life magazine is ceasing publication but will continue as a web-only publication?

Canadians continue to support cultural activities


In 2005, as a leisure activity (not for paid work or studies):

* 86.7% of the population 15 or older read a newspaper (22.6 million Canadians);

* 78.2% read a magazine (20.4 million Canadians); and

* 66.6% read at least one book (17.4 million Canadians).

About four in 10 Canadians read at least one book each month in 2005.

The 17.4 million Canadians reading at least one book is slightly larger than the 15.9 million Canadians going to at least one movie at a theatre or drive-in.

Between 1992 and 2005, the rate of book reading remained stable, with two-thirds of the population reading at least one book in 1992, 1998 and 2005. The stability of book reading in Canada is in contrast to the findings of a recent American study entitled “Reading at Risk”. That report, prepared by Hill Strategies Research for the National Endowment for the Arts, showed that the proportion of Americans reading any type of book in their leisure time (not for work or school) decreased from 60.9% in 1992 to 56.6% in 2002.

In Canada, magazine reading decreased slightly and newspaper reading decreased more substantially between 1992 and 2005.

(From via Sask Writers mailing list)

Comments 2

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    That's a very good point about newspapers and magazines. I read as much newspaper and magazine content as I ever did — maybe more. I just don't ever hold a piece of paper in front of my eyes when I do it.
    Those statistics might be useful for determining ad-rates in the print editions of newspapers and magazines, but they don't say much about reading.

    Posted 29 Mar 2007 at 1:25 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    As I said, I didn't follow through to read the whole thing but I wonder who paid for this study and/or who it was targeted at. If it was mainstream media and was for something like setting ad rates (as you suggest), they probably don't want Internet options to “spoil” the equation.
    Or it could even be a bias in the design of the survey in that the person who compiled it simply doesn't think of reading online as “real” reading. (A horrible misconception in my mind.)

    Posted 30 Mar 2007 at 5:49 am

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