The merits of reading are ingrained in Australians from an early age, but a new survey commissioned by Kindle and conducted by Kelton Global in 13 countries has shown that the benefits may be more widespread than we thought and that Australia’s appetite for a good book is growing.

Regular Readers are Happier

Reading has long been a way for us to escape into a different world or to learn something new. In the face of increasing connectivity, many of us want to get lost in a book and not be interrupted by notifications or distractions. According to the survey, half of younger Australians (aged 18-37) made it their 2019 goal to increase their reading, while almost a third (32%) of older Australians did the same. The “always on” nature of the internet, however, with social media FOMO, constant phone notifications, and the quest for ‘inbox zero’ can be stressful and overwhelming, making finding time for reading more difficult. In fact, an equal number of Australians (39%) chose increased reading as their goal for the year, to those hoping to work out more.

The survey has also shown that Australians are willing to sacrifice other activities in order to enjoy a little more “me time”. Two-thirds (66%) of Australians have skipped or put off another activity to indulge in some book-centric solitude, and among those who admit to this behaviour, over a quarter (27%) have chosen a book over social interaction, with one in five admitting to skipping family time. It isn’t just social gatherings that a good book trumps, with almost a third of Aussies (32%) revealing they have delayed watching a television show to finish a chapter or book.

Australians who read frequently are happier. Whether it’s due to increased relaxation or the minimising of digital distractions, we see a 16% happiness boost among Australians who read at least once per week compared with those who aren’t book worms.

Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite being lifted out of a pool

The Romance of Reading

Another reason for this increased happiness could be the greater romantic success reading can provide. It’s official that Australians think reading is hot – three-in-five agree it’s a major turn on and this is even more prevalent in younger Aussies, 72% of whom claim it makes their significant other more attractive. Overall, more than a quarter (27%) of Australians claim that discussing books is one of the things that made them fall in love with their partner.

Reading isn’t always an enabler for romance, and for women this is particularly true. Two in five (40%) Aussies claim they would rather read a great book than have great sex, and this figure rises to 51% for women. And beyond the hypothetical, nearly one in ten (8%) of Australians claim to have turned down sex in order to finish a chapter or a book.

Despite this, reading is ultimately a useful tool for Australians looking to speak the language of love. Over one in five (21%) Australians admit they turn to books to solve relationship problems, and more than two in five (44%) Aussies in relationships admit that romance books have helped to enhance their relationships.

Options for those who want more from the reading experience

Here at Amazon, we love that reading can have such a strong, positive impact on our customers’ lives and we provide a line-up of Kindle devices to make it easy for people to take their stories wherever they go. Kindles offer a sanctuary reading experience with no distractions to encourage Australians to read anywhere and everywhere.

Our latest line-up includes something for everyone:

· The All-New Kindle is our most affordable device. Its lightweight design is complete with a front light to illuminate your stories.

· The Kindle Paperwhite is a fan favourite with its sleek flush-front display and waterproofing (IPX8) so you won’t have to worry about a splash or accidental dip.

· The Kindle Oasis has our largest, highest-resolution display in the line-up – and a unique ergonomic design for comfortable reading days on end.

Kindle devices also come with instant access to the Kindle store, featuring the world’s best selection of content, ensuring great books are always within reach. Whichever you choose, your next book might just help you to become happier, more relaxed, and lucky in love.

Looking for some suggestions on what to read this winter, why not curl up with one of the following:

·Siege, Michael Wolff

·Testaments, Margaret Atwood

·The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes

·It Sounded Better in my Head, Nina Kenwood

·Growing up Queer in Australia, Benjamin Law

·The Fourth Man, Lee Child

·King of Kings, Wilbur Smith

·Boy swallows Universe, Trent Dalton

·The Erratics, Vicki Laveau-Harvie

·Everything is F*cked, Mark Manson

Survey Methodology

The study surveyed 27,305 people aged 18+ in the U.S. (2,004), Canada (2,088), Mexico (2,125), Brazil (2,067), Germany (2,038), U.K. (2,172), Spain (2,062), France (2,164), Italy (2,132), Australia (2,161), India (2,014), China (2,182), and Japan (2,096). The survey was conducted in two phases, i) U.S., Germany, and Japan were conducted online during the period of October 16-23, 2018, ii) Canada, Mexico, Brazil, U.K., Spain France, Italy, Australia, India and China were conducted online during the period of January 16-24, 2019. The study has a margin of error of +/- 0.6%. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.