Dutch youngsters are more likely to pick up a book and read than they were five years ago, according to new research by book industry body KVB Boekwerk (article in Dutch).

The organisation says almost half of 12 to 25-year-olds will now read a book at least once a week, compared with 39% in 2018.

Thrillers are the most popular genre, with 41% of younger readers opting for excitement. Young adult fiction is popular with 32% and fantasy, 29%. Poetry, horror and chicklit are well down the popularity list, KVB Boekwerk said.

Youngsters in their early 20s also read a “surprising” number of books about psychology and self-help.


TikTok and Instagram have had a considerable role in promoting reading among the young, with the TikTok book community #BookTok in particular helping to promote popular reading material.

The research also showed one in three youngsters prefer to read books in English. While this is partly due to the fact English books are more likely to be promoted online, people also prefer to read books in their original language, KVB Boekwerk said.

In January book promotion organisation CPNB said sales of books in the Netherlands surpassed the pandemic peak in 2022 but the market for Dutch language books has shrunk.

Some 43.2 million books, including e-books were sold last year, taking total sales to €664 million. The sale of Dutch language books went down by 3%, however, while Dutch fiction sales fell by 10%.

‘After years of declining teen and young adult readership, we’re just glad they’re reading in any language,’ Lynn Kaplanian-Buller, director of the American Book Center, told Dutch News.

NB.: First published at DutchNews.