Libris Survey: When, where, how much, and why do we read?


Libris Survey: When, where, how much, and why do we read?


  • One in three (36.1%) survey participants allocate more than 5 hours weekly to reading.
  • 3 out of 4 respondents consider reading important for well-being and actively include it in their daily routines.
  •  The budget allocated is between 50-150 RON monthly for 60% of readers.

Libris, a leading online bookstore in Romania, conducted an online survey from February 1 to April 15 to find out how much time readers devote to reading, why and when they read, what books they prefer, how often they buy books, and what role reading plays in their self-care routine.

30.6% of respondents allocate between 3 and 5 hours weekly to reading, 15.3% between 5 and 7 hours, and 20.8% dedicate more than 7 hours to reading each week. A third of the respondents read less than 3 hours per week. 89.6% prefer printed books, while 87% choose to buy from online bookstores.

Regarding the monthly budget for book purchases, 17% allocate less than 50 RON, 41% between 50-100 RON, 20% between 100-150 RON, and 10.5% between 150-200 RON. A monthly budget of over 200 RON is allocated by 11.5% of respondents.

When it comes to how often they buy books, nearly equal percentages indicated „at least once a month” (41.5%) and „once every 2-3 months” (42.8). The rest buy less frequently or borrow.

The survey was conducted on a sample of 1,695 respondents aged between 18 and over 65 years, with more than half between the ages of 31-50. 83% of survey participants live in urban areas in Romania, and 75% of them are women.

Every year on April 23, both ‘Librarian’s Day’ and ‘International Book and Copyright Day’ are celebrated in Romania to promote reading, culture, and the protection of intellectual property. Among the initiatives we run at Libris this year is an effort to make the public aware and relate to reading as a personal care activity. In this context, we aim also to identify the reading habits of the reading public, what, how, and when they read, and what financial and time resources they allocate to reading. The survey results show us that reading is perceived by readers equally as a method of relaxation and as a source of information and education—over 90% of respondents agreeing that reading is part of the routine for well-being,” states Laura Țeposu, CEO of

Laura Țeposu, CEO of

How we choose books: Emotional state greatly influences reading choices

When it comes to how they prefer to read, nearly 90% of respondents choose printed books, while the rest prefer reading on an electronic device or listening to audiobooks.

Asked how they choose the books they read; respondents indicated several criteria. Among the responses were „I follow recommendations” (55%), „I browse books before buying them” (49%), „I choose books by authors I’ve read” (48%), and „I look for books with positive reviews” (45%).

When asked what most influences their choice of reading material, the most common factors are emotional state (82%), events in their personal life (47%), and professional goals (38%).

Although the majority (95.7%) prefer to read in Romanian, and 41.8% also read in English, 4.3% read only in languages other than Romanian and English (French, Hungarian, German, Italian, Spanish, etc.). Other preferred languages include Korean, Turkish, Finnish, Albanian, or Russian. Some respondents expressed a preference for reading in the language in which the book was written.

Why we read: relaxation, information, and improving emotional state – the main reasons

Regarding the reasons why Romanians read, these include relaxation (83%), information and education (80%), improving emotional state (59%), expanding vocabulary (50%), and increasing empathy and social understanding (43%).

If one third of respondents only read in the evening before bedtime, and 15% only on weekends or in the morning, 43% read anytime during the day when they catch a free moment.

Asked how they manage distractions, such as the phone when reading, most say they accept minor distractions and integrate them into the reading experience (41%), while 31% ignore the phone or other devices when reading, and for 15%, distractions remain a challenge. When it comes to managing busy periods, 61% of respondents accept that they read less during very busy times, 18% choose shorter reading sessions, and 10% prioritize reading regardless of schedule.

The role of reading in self-Care routines

Under the umbrella of #Reading, My Self-Care Routine, Libris launched a campaign earlier this year to highlight the role books play in the lives of readers, whether they are enthusiasts or beginners, and to encourage the public to integrate reading into their daily self-care activities.

If for 20% of respondents, reading is the main self-care activity, for 60% it is one of the essential activities in their self-care routine, while for 19%, reading is not part of their self-care ritual.

According to the Libris survey, 78% consider reading important and actively include it in their daily habits.

14% of those interviewed read only one literary genre, mostly fiction, while 86% of respondents read multiple literary genres: fiction, personal development and psychology, biographies, history/human sciences, spirituality, health.

Asked how they organize their time for reading, 68% of respondents stated they do nothing special and read when and if they have time, while 32% use various strategies, such as setting clear reading goals, tracking the number of books read through specific apps, and others make sure they always have a book with them for planned and unplanned breaks. Some have more unusual strategies, like skipping classes to read, while others choose audiobooks when engaging in physical activities (indoors or outdoors).

Regarding reading rituals, 59.5% stated they have no specific ritual, while 40.5% associate reading with a comfortable space, a coffee, a dessert, a certain time of day, even a playlist suitable for the chosen book. If 25% do not give up when they do not like a book and read it to the end, 16% abandon it after the first few pages, and 59% put it aside for the moment but plan to return to it later.

Online bookstores are the first choice when it comes to purchasing books (87%), followed by physical bookstores (66%), second-hand bookshops (36%), publishers (19%), and supermarkets (14%). One in four readers also turns to libraries and friends for borrowing, and one in five consume books in audio format.

*Survey conducted online, nationally, from February 1 to April 15, 2024, on a sample of 1695 Romanians aged 18-65+, with the predominant age category being 31-40 years (32%), followed by 41-50 years (23%), 18-24 years (21%), 25-30 years (15%), 51-65+ years (9%). 83% of respondents live in urban areas in Romania, while 5% live abroad. 75% of respondents are women, and 80% buy books at least once every 2-3 months.


A 100% Romanian business, Libris entered the book market in 1991 with the St. O. Iosif bookstore in Brașov. Launched in 2009, has become a benchmark in the online bookstore segment in Romania over 14 years of existence.

Over the years, Libris has actively taken on a role in supporting reading and has run numerous campaigns in this regard. Since 2019, Libris has launched the CarteTeca project, equipping educational units in Romania with current volumes that attract children and teenagers towards reading.


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