More new books, but fewer frequent Danish readers

NEWS | 26 October 2018

The Danes’ desire to read continues to change. Today, more fiction than ever is being published, while at the same time, digital media is still progressing. This is according to new figures from the Danish Book and Literature Panel’s annual report for 2018.

In October, the annual report Bogen og litteraturens vilkår 2018 [Books and Literature Status Review 2018] was published by the Danish Minister of Culture's Book and Literature Panel.

The report shows, among other things, that it is among women that reading patterns have changed the most. In the category “Women who read weekly or more frequently” the number fell by 4.5 percentage points from 2014 to 2017.

More new books, but fewer frequent readers of fiction
In the field of fiction, the number of printed releases increased by 58 per cent from 2009 to 2017; it is especially the numbers of novels and children's books that have risen. However, the amount of time dedicated to reading fiction is still decreasing. This development is most pronounced among 30- to 59-year-olds.

Digital media and the struggle for consumer attention
The lower number of frequent readers is due to, among other things, the growing and more complex media supply of the past decade. The time spent on literature reading is under pressure from other offers, such as film and TV streaming services as well as social media.

Borrowing of online audio books is on the rise
In 2017 about 2,000 new online audio books were published in Denmark; this is the highest number registered since online audio books came on the market. In July 2018, 232,453 online audio books were distributed to Danish public libraries, and this is the highest number ever. Among the reasons for the success of online audio books is that they can easily be taken along, and listened to anywhere and at any time.

Read more and download the 2018 report (in Danish)
Find the previous reports from 2017 (in Danish), 2016 and 2015 (in English)
Read more about the Book and Literature Panel in Denmark (in Danish)


About the report:
The Book and Literature Panel's annual reports have been published since 2015, and are important reference points for the publishing industry in Denmark. The Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock, has decided to extend the work of the Book and Literature Panel to 2022.
The annual reports, based on a large amount of statistics, take the temperature of the book industry from the moment a book is produced until it is in the hands of the reader. Thus, the figures take into account the entire circuit from production, over distribution, to consumption.