In the U.K., Dealing with 'Book Block'

A phenomenon called "book block"--readers giving up on books after "struggling through a difficult title"--was uncovered by research done for World Book Night, which was celebrated in the U.K. this past Monday.

According to the Bookseller, the Reading Agency found that "more than half of Brits (54%) are stuck reading the same book for up to three months, preventing them from reading any more." As a result, in connection with World Book Night, the Reading Agency has been encouraging British readers to "ditch the burdensome books you're not enjoying and try something new instead."

In what may be a related difficult finding, some 22% of the 2,000 respondents to the survey said "you should never give up--once you start a book you should always finish it." And 51% said the biggest barrier to finishing a book is simple nonenjoyment of the book.

Another "book block": some 55% of respondents said they would avoid reading a book "if they thought it would make them sad," the Bookseller wrote. The reasoning is that 28% feel "sad enough at the state of the world."

On the positive side, some 65% of respondents call books "an escape from the uncertainty of world events," and 49% agree with the idea that fiction increases readers' ability to "empathize and understand the world." Fully 91% said reading has a positive effect on mental health and well-being.

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