This research was conducted by Sara Suarez‐Fernandez and David Boto‐García at the University of Oviedo, Spain


This paper describes the reading habits of adults in Spain, with a focus on the way in which reading for work or study affects how people read for pleasure. The results suggested that the likelihood of spending time reading for pleasure was associated with people’s background and employment or education status, but also the amount of time spent reading for study or work. Reading for work or study increased the likelihood of reading for pleasure but reduced ‘the time allocated to it’.

The study was based on over 10,000 respondents to the Cultural Habits and Practices Survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain in 2014-2015

The survey question that most interested the researchers was: ‘If you read within the last 3 months, how much time do you usually spend on reading on a working-day due to professional or educational reasons? And due to other reasons (entertainment)?’ The survey also collected data on people’s age, gender, education, employment, etc.

Reading can be something we do for pleasure, or an obligation placed upon us

The researchers imagine that people who read a lot for work (such as working on reports and papers) are often in the company of others who do the same, and are therefore in situations that demand and encourage all forms of reading. Students ‘are probably more exposed to different types of recreational reading too’. In order to explain that fact that those same people spend a smaller proportion of their time on reading for pleasure, the researchers suggest that it may seem to them like a chore and not a true relief from work or study.

Title Unraveling the effect of extrinsic reading on reading with intrinsic motivation
Author(s) Suarez‐Fernandez, S. & Boto‐García, D.
Publication date 2019
Source Journal of Cultural Economics, Vol. 43, Iss. 4, pp. 579–605
Author email