The Future of Reading was a research project to engage people in a debate about the role and value of reading, and how it can best be encouraged in a digital age. The Future of Reading: a public value project report builds on what we learned about the value of the arts through the arts debate, and reveals a number of interesting findings about reading including:

  • the importance of reading as an individual, creative experience and its perceived benefits of enjoyment, escape, empathy and overall wellbeing
  • the reasons why people choose not to read, from a lack of time or interest to a fear of being too ‘drawn in' to another world
  • that all forms of reading are seen as valid and valuable and that people don't want to be patronised or dictated to about what they choose to read
  • ideas for how individuals and organisations, particularly libraries, can help to promote reading by tapping into a universal interest in good stories

The research was conducted as part of the Arts Council's public value programme and in partnership with our literature team. The findings will fed into the development of a campaign to promote and deliver a vision for reading, involving the Arts Council, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and The Reading Agency. It will also informed the Literature elements of the Arts Council's strategy.

Download the full report and appendices below:

Full report - PDF/ Word
Appendices - PDF/ Word

The Arts Council has also produced a short film that gives an overview of the research focusing on the needs and aspirations of the public with respect to reading.