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Internet prompts the publishing itch in over-60s

The Internet is helping older British readers rekindle a love of books and writing, and an overwhelming majority of senior citizens see the medium as a positive development, according to a survey.

Some 31 per cent of people over 60 are keen to go online to publish short stories and join book clubs, the survey by charity Booktrust in Britain found.

Mark Johnson, digital producer for HarperCollins Authonomy website said it was attracting high numbers of people over 50.

"Perhaps this is because age and experience can offer a clear advantage to anyone hoping to write engagingly or perhaps older people now have more time, and are more confident, to share their passions online," he said.

"But our experience suggests that older generations aren't just learning how to use the web -- they're taking advantage of it like never before."

The survey of 1,162 over-60s found 55 per cent view the internet as a crucial part of their lives and that 93 per cent see it as a positive development, with over 32 per cent stating that they find having access to the internet liberating.

The survey was carried out by Booktrust to help publicize Bookbite, a reading and creative writing project for over-60s.