Brits’ favourite books to read on staycation – with Sally Rooney topping list

Brits have named Sally Rooney's “Beautiful World, Where Are You”, as the best holiday read for a UK staycation – beating the Harry Potter series, and “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

A poll of 2,000 adults revealed that holidaymakers will get through five books during a typical getaway – with Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice”, and Harper Lee's “To Kill A Mockingbird”, completing the top five favourites.

Elsewhere in the top 10, “The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas”, by John Boyne, came sixth, followed by Richard Osman's “The Thursday Murder Club”, and “The Diary of Anne Frank”.

Other popular reads that completed the top ten were “My Sister’s Keeper”, by Jodi Picoult, and Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”.

The research, commissioned by national holiday cottage company Original Cottages, found 60% of travellers will read more on a week’s holiday than in an average working week.

Nearly six in ten (58%) prefer to read while away as they can relax and unwind – with 59% believing that buying new books is a key part of the travel prep.

It also emerged romance was considered the top genre to read on a staycation, while others enjoy mystery, historical, and literary fiction.

But rather than trying something new, two in five (39%) stick to a genre they know they love and read all the time at home.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) think reading is a great way to escape and switch off – however, over a third (37%) find it difficult to find the right book to buy when on holiday in the UK.

Sonia Holman, from Original Cottages, said: “Holidays are all about escapism, and there’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book to help you disconnect from work and unwind.

“We hope that our summer holiday reading list will help Brits to feel inspired when it comes to packing a book for their next UK trip.”

The study also found 60% of adults still prefer to read a physical copy of a book when they’re away, rather than on a tablet or Kindle.

On a typical staycation, holidaymakers do most of their reading in the garden (23%), on the beach (16%), and in bed (16%).

And beyond the clothing essentials, books (59%) were the top ranked things travellers pack for a UK staycation – beating other things such as magazines (30%), board games (29%), and sports equipment (26%).

And nearly two-thirds (62%) believe reading is an integral part of the holiday experience.

Sonia Holman, from Original Cottages, added: “For the 54% of Brits who would feel frustrated if they forgot to bring something to read, our local team of experts are on hand to provide tips and advice on where to find the best novels locally.”


  1. Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
  2. Harry Potter collection by J.K. Rowling
  3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  6. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
  7. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  8. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  9. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  11. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  12. Better Off Dead by Lee Child and Andrew Child
  13. The President's Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
  14. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  15. A Life On Our Planet by David Attenborough
  16. Murder Before Evensong by Richard Coles
  17. Over My Dead Body by Jeffrey Archer
  18. The Murder Book by Mark Billingham
  19. Normal People by Sally Rooney
  20. Becoming Molly-Mae by Molly-Mae Hague
  21. Diddly Squat by Jeremy Clarkson
  22. Cat and Mouse by M.J. Arlidge
  23. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  24. Lion by Conn Iggulden
  25. Billy Summers by Stephen King

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