Why did people begin to read more (science in the 19th century)?

There was a secularization of reading, reading became widespread due to the compulsory elementary education, spread to all walks of life. This was also facilitated by the increased supply of printed materials associated with new technologies in paper production and printing. As a result, reading became more accessible to the lower classes. Reading was the main source of information and education, turned into one of the types of entertainment.

Remember: The process of learning a person lasts a lifetime. The value of the same knowledge for different people may be different, it is determined by their individual characteristics and needs. Therefore, knowledge is always needed at any age and position.