Who Reads the Most in the World? (It’s not the U.S.)

If you’re a bookworm, you probably read more than most people you know. If you’re a competitive bookworm, you want to know how much more you read than most people you know. If you fall into the latter camp, wonder no more. This infographic lays out the reading prowess of countries across the globe, along with other fun literacy facts.


This infographic is courtesy of Brendan Brown of Global English Editing. Visit them online at geediting.com or on Twitter @geediting.

Baihley Grandison Featured 2017Baihley Grandison is the associate editor of Writer’s Digest and a freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter @baihleyg, where she mostly tweets about writing (Team Oxford Comma!), food (HUMMUS FOR PRESIDENT, PEOPLE), and Random Conversations With Her Mother.

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2 thoughts on “Who Reads the Most in the World? (It’s not the U.S.)

  1. MichaelEdits

    I’m not surprised to see China high on the list. Every time I walked into a bookstore in China, people were everywhere, and they were reading. Even if the lighting was poor and the air conditioning was off.

    And of course I’m not surprised to see India at the top of the list. Nobody should be. In my case, I’ve exchanged enough emails with bookstores, publishers, and private individuals in India to know they love the written word as much as I do.

    Thailand at #2? I used to live there, and was told more than once that they deeply respect anyone who writes a book but don’t actually read them. The only thing I ever saw them reading was Manga. Lots of Manga.

    1. Rayliss

      A woman once drove more than 100 miles to meet me at a book signing. She carried with her copies of every novel I’d written, along with a special present, one that was so personal, so closely aligned to my tastes and loves that I almost felt as if she’d been spying on me.

      Of course, all she’d done was read my books, which—much as I might resist the idea—reveal a great deal about me. It’s impossible to write good fiction without millions of specific details, and every detail comes from within the writer.

      Which leads in a roundabout way to the sticky challenge of social media for writers—particularly novelists. We all hear a lot about the importance of platform building these days. Genuinely engaging through social networks creates a bond with your readers that can turn them into life-long fans. But after pouring so much of yourself into your writing, social media can feel like jumping naked into a hot tub with a bunch of strangers.


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