The study found that just 13% of the richest socio-economic background are more likely to read,
while one in four people from the poorest socio-economic backgrounds admitted they never read.
Younger people, men and those with low levels of qualifications are also less likely to be readers.
More than one-third of those questioned say they often start a book but get bored or cannot find time to read. Half said they prefer watching TV and DVDs to reading a novel.
The study concludes that, on average, people who read regularly are more satisfied with life, happier and more likely to feel their life is worthwhile. That's pleasing from my viewpoint as a novelist. Not much use writing a novel if nobody's likely to read the product of my endeavor.
In my household, echoing the rest of society I suspect, I read and my husband watches television. No, that's not strictly true. I mean at night. I read my e-book during commercial breaks or when I'm not interested in the program he picks. He likes learning what actually happened during recent wars. In the daytime, he reads the daily newspaper from cover to cover, particularly the sports coverage, while I work on my computer in writing related pursuits.
But wait for this. Here's the latest news published today. Using touchscreens, such as smartphones and tablets, could help poor pre-school children to learn to read.
Now, that's staggering. Technology is actually helping children, who are our future, to read.
Last week, I sat opposite the checkout in my local supermarket. A baby, who appeared to be about one year old, sat in a well-appointed stroller with a tablet in her hand. On the other hand, her chubby finger swiped at the screen. She smiled and even giggled at what her attention was fixed on. I pointed her out to my husband in amazement.
So how about it? Are you a reader or a watcher? Okay, I've answered my own question because you're reading this.