Oxfam study shows people prefer reading books to tablets

It’s no surprise to the manager of Oxfam’s store in Haverfordwest that people still opt for a paper or hardback book, although they can read stories on tablets, phones, Kindles or listen to books sound.

According to a survey of 2,000 adults across the UK, commissioned by Oxfam, two-thirds of people still enjoy reading something tangible in their hands.

Nearly half of respondents (46%) like being able to physically turn the pages while 42% prefer the feel of a book.

A quarter also admitted to liking the smell that comes with the books.

Derrick Noakes, Oxfam’s Haverfordwest store manager, said reading a book is not so much about dying – as is often reported – but about thriving.

“It’s no surprise to hear that the death of physical books has been greatly exaggerated. We have countless customers who love to come in and browse our shelves.

“There’s nothing like the comfort and escape of a good book.”

Among other survey results, 32% feel more immersed in the story of a physical book and 16% remember libraries.

Mr Noakes went on to explain the many benefits of reading a real book.

“Of course, buying second-hand books from Oxfam is not only the cheapest and most environmentally friendly choice, but it also helps us raise funds to provide communities around the world facing the threat of Covid, clean water and life saving soap.

“And the best part is, once you’ve read it, you can always return the book to us for someone else to enjoy!”

Shelves have become a phenomenon as a backdrop for video calls.

Almost half (45%) of respondents admitted to having read more books than usual since the lockdown began, while 15% of respondents read a book knowing you might find a letter or note inside.

The research, conducted by OnePoll, found that 49% of adults often buy second-hand items, with books, a car, clothes, CDs and DVDs topping the list.

Just over half of Britons agree that buying second-hand is just as good as buying new, with 59% saying it’s more appealing now than before.

About Marcia G. Hussain

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