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Survey Reveals Book Genres And Settings That Easily Immerse Readers

Fantasy, romance, and historical fiction top the list, while WWII and the present day are popular settings.

It takes the average person 36 minutes and 29 pages to get lost in a book they’

A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults who regularly read found the easiest book genres to lose yourself in are fantasy (49%), romance (42%), history (39%) and sci-fi (36%).

Nearly half (48%) have also purchased a book based on its setting alone.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ThriftBooks, the survey discovered the easiest stories to lose oneself in are those that take place during World War II (44%), the present day (42%) — defined as the 1970s to today — and the Great Depression (42%).

But it doesn’t matter how realistic the setting is, as more than half (53%) said both fictional and realistic literary locales provide an escape.

Re-reading a book doesn’t lessen its magic, either. Nearly half (48%) said both new and old favorites are easy to get immersed in.

A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults who regularly read found the easiest book genres to lose yourself in are fantasy (49%), romance (42%), history (39%) and sci-fi (36%). PHOTO BY SWNS 

However, where people read can affect their experience. Those polled are more likely to be immersed in a book at home (40%) than elsewhere.

And some have an interesting choice of reading rooms. More than half (54%) of Gen Zers and over a quarter of men (26%) said they usually read books in their bathroom.

The weather outside can play a role, too, as a snowy day was found to be the perfect catalyst for immersing oneself in “book world” (46%).

While most people usually read books at home (76%), they also take advantage of libraries (60%) and their travels (58%) to peruse their favorites. And 58% even admit to reading while working.

Overall, nearly three in four (74%) have immersed themselves in a book.

Of those respondents, 63% imagined themselves as one of the characters, the same amount transported themselves to the book’s setting, and 58% could almost hear how the narrator or characters sound.

Imagining literary worlds as real isn’t just for kids, though — in fact, book immersion gets easier with age, according to seven in 10 (72%) respondents. Men were more likely to share this sentiment than women (78% vs. 68%).

“Books, like movies, often leave us feeling a certain way hours, days and even weeks later,” said a spokesperson for ThriftBooks. “Regardless of what else is going on in our lives, it’s a journey we’re willing to take.”

Upon finishing a reading session, 30% of those polled described the

“The beauty of storytelling lies in its power to captivate readers of all ages any time, anywhere,” the spokesperson continued. “Not only does it never leave us, but according to our research, it becomes even more prominent as the years go by.”


  • Fantasy – 49%
  • Romance – 42%
  • History – 39%
  • Sci-Fi – 36%
  • Comedy – 33%
  • Action-adventure – 2%
  • Mystery – 17%

Produced in association with SWNS Research

(Additional reporting provided by Talker Research)

Edited by and

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