A survey of leisure time and reading habits from industry non-profit BookNet Canada has found that Canadians had more free time in 2020. In fact, there was a 10% increase in those who said they had more than enough leisure time from 2019 to 2020.
The top leisure activity continued to be watching videos, TV, or movies. The activity that saw the greatest change from 2019 to 2020 was video games — an 8% increase in Canadians who played weekly and 9% increase in those who played daily. Perhaps the virtual, social entertainment aspect of video games had more appeal during pandemic lockdown periods.
Although leisure time was up overall, time spent reading stayed fairly flat from 2019 to 2020. While half of Canadians read a book at least on a weekly basis (53%), book and magazine reading did not have any significant increase when compared to 2019.
The survey, which is regularly conducted each winter, asked 1,253 Canadians if they had read or listened to a book at least a few times in the past year and, as in the previous 6 years, 8 in 10 Canadians said they had. When it came to what they were reading, in 2020, 13% more readers were reading Non-Fiction in 2020 when compared to 2019. Interestingly, the percentage of readers who had read children’s and young adult books almost doubled across formats, despite few changes to the number of respondents who were living with young children between 2019 and 2020.
The full study includes data on how readers and non-readers spend their free time, how readers discover and acquire their books, readers' format preferences, popular Fiction and Non-Fiction genres, the value of books across formats, and more. Find it all in the free Canadian Leisure & Reading Study 2020 here:
— BookNet Canada