ANDALUCIA is bottom of the Spanish reading leagues. And the problem is getting worse.

The number of people who read regularly here has dropped from 55 to 50 per cent in just ten years.

It is now well below the national average of 55 per cent and comes despite three major initiatives to increase reading since 2000.

The nation’s top bookworms seem to dwell in Madrid where 64 per cent of people claim to be habitual readers. In Catalonia this figure falls to 55.6 per cent.

The most literate Spaniards are young, university-educated, woman, while the largest reader group are children between 10 and 13 of whom 91 per cent read regularly.

Spain’s most popular book last year was John Boyle’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, while Stieg Larsson is the most popular author.

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