British readers like to return to Harry Potter for another dose of literary magic more than any other character, a survey suggests.

The Costa Book Awards' annual survey of re-readable books hands the teenage wizard the top spot in its new poll out today.

Just missing out is JRR Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which came in second, while his The Hobbit is fourth.

The British reading public maintains its firm commitment to 19th century fiction, with Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen at number three and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre at five.

The top 20 list also displays a wide diversity of beliefs, especially so on religion. Dan Brown's controversial The Da Vinci Code is seventh while the Bible clocks in at a lowly 16th.

The only non-fiction work in the list, the Bible is sandwiched by science fiction, coming one place above Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and one place below Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens.

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations rounds off the top 20.

09/11/2007 16:22:31