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Koreans not bookworms

1 February 2016

From The Korea Times:

The rate of adults who read at least one book last year was the lowest since the government started keeping records, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Friday.

The findings are from the ministry’s survey of 5,000 adults and 3,000 elementary, middle and high school students from October 2014 to September 2015. According to the survey, the average yearly reading rate among adults was 65.3 percent, a 6.1 percent drop from 2013.

. . . .

The rate was 86.8 percent in 1994, fell to 79 percent in 1995 and remained in the 70s percentage in the 2000s, until it fell to 65.4 percent in 2010.

. . . .

Korean adults, on average, read 9.1 books and spent 22.8 minutes during the week and 25.3 minutes on weekends reading last year.

. . . .

They attributed this to “not having enough time due to work or studies,” followed by “because they do not want to read nor are they in the habit.”

However, according to the ministry, Koreans’ reading rate is on par with the average of OECD members.

Link to the rest at Korea Times

Books in General, Non-US

6 Comments to “Koreans not bookworms”

  1. Bizarre stats since North & South Korea are two of the countries that created the huge cell phone writing and reading movement and triggered the success of sites like Wattpad internationally.

    • “Reading material was confined to paperbacks, excluding magazines, comic books, textbooks, reference books for students and test prep books.”

      I couldn’t find a reference to eBooks at all, only the quote above, so I’m assuming they didn’t count web novels.

    • I think you might be confusing Korea with somewhere else. Very, very little goes in or out of North Korea(think giant minefields, artillery bases, and “kill box” zones), and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Wattpad here. Although, looking around at fellow subway riders, nearly everyone is either looking at a phone or is wearing head phones.

  2. One wonders how the Ministry garnered their data.

  3. I’d suggest that there’s a problem there, as much as articles like this are unfortunately on the click-baity side:

    Korea’s internet addiction crisis is getting worse, as teens spend up to 88 hours a week gaming

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