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A survey conducted by ACNielson for the government book promotion, Books Alive, in June 2001, found that 78% of people aged 18 years and over in Australia read for pleasure everyday or on most days of the week. The survey also found that the most popular reading material was newspapers, with 91% of people having read a newspaper for pleasure in the week before interview. This compares with 72% of people who had read books for pleasure and 63% who had read magazines in the same period.
Care must be taken in comparing data from the Time Use and Adult Literacy and Life Skills Surveys with data from the ACNielsen survey due to differences in survey methodology, definitions and reference periods.
The 2006 Children's Participation in Selected Cultural and Leisure Activities survey, conducted by the ABS on the activities of 5-14 year olds, showed that girls were more likely to read for pleasure than boys at any age. Overall, 80% of girls read for pleasure during the two-week reference period compared with 69% of boys. Girls also read for longer than boys - the average time spent by girls who read for pleasure during the two-week period was 7.9 hours, compared with 6.6 hours for boys.