World reading habits in 2021

Global English Editing researched world reading habits in 2021 and compiled all the most interesting facts and stats into an infographic that’s full of insights. It reveals, among so much more, that:

  • Graphic novels were the fastest-growing book genre in 2021.
  • Stories told through illustrations — aka the grown-up version of comic books — saw a staggering increase of 146 percent in sales.
  • Despite this, our favorite type of book to curl up with remains romance, which accounted for a cool 1.44 billion of book revenues.
  • Fiction continued to float our boats in 2021 more than nonfiction, with 61 percent of people saying they prefer a fictional tale.

What impact did the pandemic have (both positive and negative) on our reading habits this year? Which countries have the most bookworms? What were our favorite books?

Discover all this and more in the World Reading Habits in 2021 infographic below.

world reading habits in 2021 3

Apply this information

There’s a lot of information here. How can you apply some of it to your work as an author?

I often hear older authors grumbling that “young people don’t read books.” They’re wrong, of course, and this infographic proves that. Millennials are the “bookworm generation.” Do your books appeal to them? Should they?

The continued popularity of print books (also reported by the folks at BookyCall on this blog in October) jumps out at me, as does the ongoing growth in audiobooks in the U.S. If you’ve only been releasing in e-book format, consider expanding first to print, then to audio. The more options you offer readers, the more money you’ll make.

Books continue to inspire movies and TV series, too, especially considering the volume of streaming programming available today. Is this an opportunity for you and your story?

Take time to study the data in the infographic. You might be surprised at how useful it is to your author career.

What were your reading habits in 2021? Did you read more books than the year before? Fewer? More fiction than nonfiction — or vice versa? Please tell us in a comment.

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  1. I find this most interesting and will have to re-read it. Thank you.
    The negative from it is the guilt that I don’t read enough. My eyes are still OK. I don’t know the generation classifications – probably should, to decide who I write for. I do know that in email exchanges, mostly family and friends. That comprises most of my writing. Re a book is made difficult because of two reasons. The first is to find a publisher. Yes, one can self-publish. That does not mean sales.
    Yes, experts continually give advice on how to do this, normally at some cost and time. The decision to do this is then an internal debate, of to or not to. I’ll take this as a poor excuse, but pain in movement is real and sitting to write increases it with time. Accepting this need be overcome, a crossroad.

    1. In spite of what you might hear, Len, quality self-publishing costs money. And getting any published book discovered — no matter what publishing route you take — takes time, effort, and knowledge. It’s work!


    1. People (and by “people,” I mean boomers) often complain that “the younger generations” don’t read. They are so wrong.


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