Rarely read printed books these days

Young people read fewer books

Results for reading books

In their free time (i.e. not for school), 34 percent of young people read at least several times a week Books, so a result of the JIM study 2019. A slight decrease: the proportion of regular readers of printed books in their free time has fluctuated around the 40 percent mark in recent years (2018: 39 percent; 2017: 40 percent; 2016: 38 percent).

Within 14 days Another fifth of young people reads printed books, a good one in four accesses the book once a month or less.

At regular Reading books (at least several times a week) there is a clear difference between the sexes: Bei girl if the value is 40 percent, at Boys at 28 percent. In contrast, the values ​​for the Internet and smartphone are close together.

The highest proportion regular reader can be found in 2019 under the 16 to 17 year olds (36 percent). For comparison, the other age groups: 12-13 years: 31 percent; 14-15 years: 34 percent; 18-19 years: 34 percent).

Even the formal one Educational background According to the study, influences the use of books by young people. While almost two out of five high school students (38 percent) regularly pick up books, the figure is only 28 percent for young people attending secondary or secondary school.

And e-books?

According to the study, these still do not show any broad relevance in everyday media life for young people. Just read like last year seven percent of young people regularly use e-books; for a quarter, reading electronic books is at least seldom part of their everyday leisure time. 75 percent of young people never deal with digital books.

Fantasy most popular reading material

Those young people who at least rarely read books (print or digital) state that from the beginning of the year to the survey period (May to August) nine books to have read. Half of the respondents (51 percent) were reading a book at the time of the survey for the JIM study (girls: 60 percent, boys: 42 percent). The titles mentioned have a wide range in terms of content, but have hardly changed over the years. The classics that young people have read for years and mentioned here are still there "Harry Potter", "Lord of the Rings" as well as the fantasy series "Eragon".

Reading time

According to their own assessment, the adolescents spend an average of one weekday 53 minutes reading books (2018: 67 min.). With girls (62 min.) It falls Reading time correspondingly higher than in boys (45 min.).


With 18 percent almost a fifth say they never read printed books in their free time. The proportions of the Non-readers in the age groups 12-13 years (23 percent) and 14-15 years (22 percent). The proportion is lower among older adolescents: 16-17 years (14 percent) and 18-19 years (16 percent). The proportion of Non-readers is higher for secondary school students (23 percent) than for high school students (15 percent).

The leisure favorites

free time activities

Favorite Leisure activity (at least several times a week) is the same for girls (74 percent) and boys (75 percent) Withmeet friends. Follow behind Sports (Girls: 63 percent; boys: 69 percent), Family ventures (That is what 35 percent say) and "Make music yourself" (girls: 23 percent; boys: 19 percent).

Media usage

Most will be in the Internet surfed, 97 percent do that at least several times a week, with Smartphone paddled (96 percent) or listened to music (93 percent) - 34 percent read books regularly, as described above. This is expanding Media repertoire of young people steadily, according to the makers of the JIM study. Currently about three out of four families have a subscription for one Video streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Also Music streaming services are present in two out of three families, are somewhat rarer digital voice assistants like Alexa represented in 16 percent of households.

Online videos (84 percent) are present watch TV (76 percent) for regular use.

When listening to music, use via music streaming services such as Spotify comes first: two thirds of young people listen to music at least several times a week via streaming services. Regardless of how they use music, two out of three young people listen to the radio regularly.

In terms of communication is clear Whatsapp the preferred channel, 93 percent of 12 to 19 year olds use this to exchange information with others at least several times a week, 86 percent even daily. In second place is Instagramthat every second person uses every day (regularly 64 percent).

To the study

The representative study was held from May 28 to August 17, 2019 1,200 young people between the ages of twelve and 19 interviewed by phone.

The Study series JIM (Youth, Information, Media) has been carried out annually by the Südwest Media Education Research Association since 1998 in cooperation with the Südwestrundfunk (SWR). The representative study shows the media behavior of young people in Germany. The Media Education Research Association Southwest is a cooperation between the State Institute for Communication Baden-Württemberg (LFK) and the media authority rlp (LMK). The study is being carried out in cooperation with Südwestrundfunk (SWR).