According to research by Nielsen Book, almost half of 18–24-year-olds read more during lockdown than they did before.

The study shows the nation has almost doubled the amount of time it spends reading books, from around 3.5 hours per week on average to six.

The nation is reading more and book sales are rising. Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels.

Book sales have exceeded 200million, for the first time since 2012. Genres such as crime and thriller fiction have proved particularly popular during the pandemic.

Meanwhile sales of dystopian books or titles relating to the pandemic were down.

James Simpson, a University of Lincoln student, joined the Book Society last year.

Like many who turned to books for comfort and distraction during the pandemic, he reads to evade reality for a while.

‘’I like reading because it’s quite escapist. You can go to places you’ve never been to and experience things that you wouldn’t normally and put yourself in other people’s shoes.’’

James joined the book society last year and thinks reading is a form of escapism.

However, the lockdowns meant bookshops had to close their doors, so booklovers had to shop online.

James said: ‘‘It’s sad that Amazon are taking over. I don’t really mind having to wait a week for a book if I can support local shops instead.’’

He also gets his books from charity shops, where ‘’you never know what you’re going to find.’’

With the reopening of shops on April 12, it’s hoped the nation’s newfound love for reading will continue, helping to support the independent bookshops on our high street.