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Accountants biggest readers: Survey

Accountants are not known for their social skills so is it hardly surprising that accountants spend more time reading than any other profession.

A survey of 1,600 people, undertaken by Book Tokens, compared the reading habits of a handful of easily stereotyped professionals including accountants, secretaries, MPs, journalists, taxi drivers, lawyers, chefs, teachers and clergy. The findings coincided with World Book Day last week and showed that accountants spend an average of 5.25 hours reading each week. Secretaries came a close second, reading an average of four hours and 27 minutes for pleasure each week. Next in the tables of avid readers were MP’s, journalists, followed by taxi drivers, lawyers, chefs and teachers. The clergy were responsible for the least amount of reading spending 2 hours and 40 minutes reading each week.

The surveys also looked at the type of literature each profession read with some surprise findings. MP’s opt to read travel books while taxi drivers enjoy thrillers. Teachers favoured contemporary fiction above the classics and journalists read more chick lit than secretaries. Surprisingly accountants ditched the ‘IR591 Your guide’, ‘Teach yourself Section 660’ and ‘IR35 for experts’ in favour of humour titles.

They also enjoy classic fiction with JRR Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ as their favourite title, followed by Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice. Journalists are the only profession for whom both the titles are not their favourite novels choosing contemporary fiction such as Nobel Prize winning Columbian Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude instead.

The latest survey suggests that there is more to accountants than excel sheets and figures but it could just be that accountants are creative with the truth. A survey published two years ago claimed that accountants took more exotic holidays than most and enjoyed more active sex lives which, unless they are reading the Karma Sutra, could be a more than a white lie as 35 per cent of them prefer to read in bed.

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