Majority of Scots will give books for Christmas, survey finds

Category: Press Releases

Book Week Scotland poll also reveals Jamie Oliver is nation’s favourite chef

More than two-thirds of people in Scotland plan to give books as Christmas gifts, according to a new poll commissioned for the start of Book Week Scotland today (Monday 27 November).

A huge 69% of people surveyed said they will buy books or book tokens for family and friends this Christmas, with titles for children and young people the most popular choice of book (25%). Crime and thriller books were the second highest pick as presents, with 21% of respondents to the survey choosing this type, closely followed by biography and autobiography with 19%.

The survey also asked how many books people own in different genres and found fiction is most popular, with almost half of Scots (48%) owning 25 or more titles of this kind. Second place was cookery books, with 12% of people packing more than 25 cookbooks on their shelves. In addition, for those who own between five and 25 books, cookbooks are their most owned category.

Book Week Scotland is a celebration of books and reading that brings hundreds of free events to venues all across the country. Run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, and working with a wide range of partners, this year it takes place from Monday 27 November to Sunday 3 December.

The theme for this year’s Book Week Scotland is Nourish and throughout the week we will be celebrating how books and reading feed the life of communities. The 2017 events programme is a literary box of delights with something for people of all ages and tastes to enjoy. A free e-book will be available to download and this year, for the first time, we are running a Virtual Festival packed with tasty content.

The survey, commissioned by Scottish Book Trust, questioned more than 1200 Scots and found that, for those who own cookbooks, titles by Jamie Oliver are the most popular. Nearly one-third (31%) count his among their top three most-used cookbooks. His modern approach to cooking pipped traditional favourite Delia Smith into second place (23%), with the Hairy Bikers third (20%), and Mary Berry fourth (18%).

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “At the start of the sixth Book Week Scotland, and just a month before Christmas, it is wonderful to know that books remain one of the favourite present choices for Scots. Anyone looking for inspiration should visit the events page of our website where there are literally hundreds of ideas from a huge variety of authors, topics and titles.

“This year’s theme of Nourish taps into the wellbeing effects that come from reading and looks at all the ways books impact positively on our lives. Taking time out to read is good for you, whatever your age and whatever you enjoy.”

For more information about Book Week Scotland 2017, how you can get involved and events taking place in your area, visit



Notes to Editors

For media enquiries please call Lindsay Clydesdale, Media and PR Manager at Scottish Book Trust, on or 07766 725595.

Survey information

The Book Week Scotland poll was commissioned by Scottish Book Trust and delivered by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research Ltd. The survey took place online between 16 and 19 November 2017, using a representative sample of the Scottish adult population through the ScotPulse panel. Survey results are based on the responses of 1289 people and data is weighted to the gender and age profile of the Scottish population.

Book Week Scotland

Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported by £200,000 from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Targeted Funding and £24,000 from SLIC, Book Week Scotland 2017 will be delivered by Scottish Book Trust from 27 November to 3 December.
For more information about Book Week Scotland, visit
Follow @Bookweekscot on Twitter, check out #bookweekscot or like the Book Week Scotland Facebook page.

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure though programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide. @scottishbktrust

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library and information services. It leads the implementation of Ambition and Opportunity: A strategy for public libraries in Scotland 2015–2020, develops innovative projects like Film Education in Libraries and provides support for libraries in the form of advocacy, consultation and research. It administers Scottish Government funding for public libraries (Public Library Improvement Fund) and funding for the wider library and information sector (Innovation and Development Fund). It supports public libraries to participate in Book Week Scotland by providing Scottish Book Trust with event funding for every public library service and Further Education College Libraries.