Readers during the Covid-19 pandemic
Reading choices, habits and emotional experiences
This study investigates reading literature during the Covid-19 pandemic in Norway. In three surveys conducted
across 2020 (combined N = 489), readers were asked about their reading habits, motivations for reading and
emotional states after reading. Our results showed that Norwegian readers read more during the pandemic. However, only a minority
reported changing their reasons for reading and their reading habits because of the pandemic. For these readers, a feeling of
safety and distraction from the ongoing pandemic seemed to be of higher importance. Readers overall experienced that reading
allows them to achieve the emotional state they desire, indicating the role reading plays in emotion regulation during the
pandemic. We compare these results across gender and age differences. We conclude that reading appears to work as a cultural
strategy that helps coping with the pandemic situation.
- 2.1Pandemic situation
- 2.3Survey questions
- 2.4Statistical analyses
- 2.5Ethical considerations
- 3.1Part I: Combined sample
- 3.1.1Do people read more or less during the pandemic?
- 3.1.2What do people currently read?
- 3.1.3What reading habits are prevalent?
- 3.1.4Why do people read?
- 3.1.5What do people feel after reading?
- 3.1.6Does a pandemic-related change in reading have an effect on motivations to read and the emotional response to
- 3.1.7What are the motivations and emotional responses of readers who choose a book in order to feel in a certain way?
- 3.1.8Do readers of different genres approach and respond differently to reading?
- 3.2Part II: Results across the course of the pandemic
- 3.2.1Does choice of genre change across the pandemic?
- 3.2.2Do the reasons to read change across the pandemic?
- 3.2.3Do people respond more emotionally to reading across the pandemic?
- 3.2.4Do people experience a higher degree of achieving a desired effect from reading across the pandemic?
- 3.3Part III: Groups of readers
- 3.3.1Are there differences between male and female readers?
- 3.3.2Are there age effects?
- 4.1Overview of results
- 4.2Gender differences
- 4.3Age differences
- 4.4Literary genres
- 4.5Strengths and limitations