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Land of the unread: Over half of books in British households have never been read


The average British household contains 138 books, but over half of these have never been read, according to a study.

An estimated 3.6 billion books are on shelves, or tucked away in bedrooms and lofts in our homes, research by storage firm Shurgard found. A survey of 2,000 adults, published on World Book Day today, shows that two-thirds keep books because they are emotionally attached to them, while more than one in four say they hate throwing anything away.

Duncan Bell, of Shurgard, said: “Whether holding on to a literary gem or a nostalgic novel, our research shows we are still hooked on the romance of leafing through a good old-fashioned book.”

World Book Day is celebrated every year in more than 100 countries. Now in its 17th year, the event aims to encourage children to explore the pleasures of reading by providing them with the chance to own a new book.

The organisers send out millions of tokens to school children across the UK, enough for almost everyone aged under 18. They can be spent in bookshops around the country.