The study by National Book Tokens found that teachers were the most likely people to read as a form of relaxation, with 71 per cent of them doing so.
The research, which involved 1,226 adults, showed that 46 per cent of teachers bought books from charity shops, compared with 43 per cent of all readers.
The study also revealed that half of all teachers have read JK Rowling's Harry Potter series, compared with 35 per cent of adults overall.
Bruce Guthrie, head of Bishop Barrington school, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, said: "I read a lot of professional leadership pamphlets during the day but I like to relax and escape with a good detective novel at night.
"My wife, Joyce, runs, the local Oxfam store so I get lots of books from there. It's like a library. I always return them to be sold on again and it's for a good cause."
Mr Guthrie said he enjoyed reading authors such as Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell and John Grisham.
The survey also found that 56 per cent of adults questioned read books for pleasure every day, while 28 per cent read work-related material.
The majority of readers (68 per cent) selected books based on word-of-mouth recommendations, compared with just 16 per cent who were swayed by glossy advertisements.
Almost half of those questioned preferred to read in bed, compared with 6 per cent who read in the bathroom.