1 in 10 homes don't own books while smart device ownership soars

One in ten households admits they do not own a single book, but the average home boasts eight internet-enabled devices, a report has revealed.

Book ownership is falling as the number of people owning smart devices, such as tablets, grows. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The number of bookless households rose to 19 per cent of homes where people are aged under 25. The number of books held on e-readers is also lower amongst younger groups of people.

Board games, packs of playing cards and packs of dominoes have also gone down in popularity over the past decade, the study found – at the same time that the number of gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, internet TVs and games consoles has rocketed.

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The typical household owns just 3.2 board games, compared to four in 2006 – while households with children own an average of 1.7 internet-enabled games consoles such as an XBox or PlayStation.

The Aviva Home Report: Digital Living also found that almost two-thirds of parents would allow their child aged ten to 15 to lie about their age to join social media networks, while 98 per cent do not police what their youngsters are looking at online.

Meanwhile, one in eight youngsters aged ten to 15 claim to have been cyber-bullied on social media, while 3 per cent say that they have been groomed.

Lindsey Rix, managing director at Aviva UK General Insurance, said: “Technology is now very much a part of our lives from a very early age. The ways in which we communicate, work and entertain ourselves are all changing as a result.

“While most of the families we spoke to in our study said that technology had had a positive impact on their households, there are also some downsides and concerns.”

An average household has 8.2 internet-enabled devices, but that figure rises to 10.9 in homes with children – with the average child receiving a tablet at the age of nine and a smartphone aged ten.

The number of devices owned peaks in the age range of 25 to 34, with an average of 11.2 items per home. This is more than double the number of internet-enabled devices found in homes of people aged 55 and upwards.