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A leading online provider of professional, academic and coffee table books has today released results of a study evaluating the relationship between the amount people read, secondary school and university league tables and unemployment rates for the UK’s regions. The results show a strong correlation between the three categories. , a leading online bookshop, has evaluated their online orders, breaking down their previous 2 years’ sales between the different UK regions. With ongoing public and professional debate about just how important reading is for brain stimulation and development, the company wanted to compare its findings to regional unemployment rates and results for 2007, along with University and GCSE league tables.

Percentage of educational books sold by All Top Books to each UK region:

South East – 43.8%
South West – 11.3%
Midlands – 11%
North West – 9.8%
Scotland – 8.4%
North East – 8.6%
Wales – 2.7%
East – 2.3%
Northern Ireland – 2.1%

Dilip Sinha, founder of All Top Books, comments;

“Achieving a good English grade is more of a prerequisite for obtaining employment and a university degree than any other subject, and reading has been proven to provide the necessary stimulation to increase English skills.”

Sinha continues:

“Reading allows the mind to pause, reflect, gather information, operate actively, combine intellect and emotion and develop a longer attention span. Yet, young people have been known to spend at least 4 times as many hours each week watching television as reading. I am determined to help change this!”

Results from the All Top Books’ study represented South East England to be the most ‘well-read’ region in the UK. Just under 44% of All Top Books’ sales were ordered from the South East. When analysing results of the Top 50 Universities1 and secondary schools2 in the UK, the South East was found to be number 1, being home to 36% of top universities and 34% of top secondary schools.

According to the Office of National Statistics3 the South West has the lowest unemployment rate in the UK and interestingly contributed to the second highest percentage (11.3%) of All Top Books’ sales. These results suggest that there is a definite link between reading levels and the overall intelligence of the region.

It is also important to analyse All Top Books’ findings for the region that contributed the least sales and is thus the least ‘well-read’ region in the UK.

Total book deliveries for Northern Ireland only amounted to 2.1% of All Top Books’ sales for the last 2 years, and therefore, according to these results, making the Northern Irish the least well-read UK region. Additionally, Northern Ireland is home to just 2% of the Top 50 Universities in the UK, therefore making this the region with the lowest University statistics, although a lower population density also plays a part. This once again reinforces a correlation between a well-read community and the overall success of its people.



Editors Notes:

For further information contact or 01452 527898.

All Top Books, trading name for Books and Beyond, is an online bookseller based in Lewisham borough, South East London.

They have a strong trade in supplying books to the professions and educational establishments (both formal and informal) as well as being regular suppliers to the public sector. They also do substantial trade with the general public, particularly in textbooks, self-help, reference and coffee-table books.
Amongst testimonials from customers in a survey this month was the following:

Books and Beyond was established as a mail order bookseller in Northamptonshire in 1999, but their roots in bookselling go back to 1980.

Visit their website at

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