No books in a tenth of Leeds households

NOVEL APPROACH: Dr Christian White, of Modern First Editions in Ilkley.
NOVEL APPROACH: Dr Christian White, of Modern First Editions in Ilkley.
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Prepare for some depressing reading – if you are in one those households that still holds reading material.

A growing number of homes – one in 10 in Yorkshire alone – do not now contain a single book, despite the fact that their occupants have an average of eight devices that connect to the internet.

The number rises still further among those occupied by 18 to 24-year-olds, with as many as 20 per cent reporting not a single hard copy.


Lindsey Rix of Aviva UK General Insurance, which compiled the data, said: “It is clear from our research that our possessions are changing as the world advances, with traditional pastimes often making way for modern alternatives.”

Despite the figures, it is too soon to write off the printed book completely, one West Yorkshire bookseller 

“I don’t think we’re on a slippery slope,” said Dr Christian White, who runs Modern First Editions in Ilkley.

“Let’s not forget that 90 per cent of households do still have books on their shelves, and that’s very positive.”

The printed book, he said, was still the last word in smart technology.

“You can take into the bath and continue to use it when your iPhone has died.

“Yes, we’ve seen a lot of bookshops closing, but people still want to own books that have something important or significant about them as objects.

“Publishers are seeing that, and books now are made to look more attractive then they did 10 or 15 years ago.”

He added: “Waterstones looks amazing now and the reason is that it has understood that we’re buying books in different ways.”

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