SEOUL, Korea, Feb 21 (Korea Bizwire) – According to a recent survey, Korean adults read 9.2 books a year, less than a book a month. However, students read much more books than adults, albeit the books are mostly for their study.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism conducted the survey on the state of the reading habits of Koreans asking questions to 2,000 adults and 3,000 elementary, middle and high school students last year.
The result showed that the volume of reading for adults decreased 0.7 to 9.2 books a year, compared with the previous survey held in 2011. However, the rate of adults who read at least a book a year excluding periodicals and comic books increased 71.4 percent, a 4.6-percentage point rise from the 2011 survey.
Meanwhile, the rate of students who read at least a book a year increased 96.0 percent and they read 32.3 books a year, a 12.2-percentage point and 8 books rise. The survey also said the average reading time for adults and students is 23.5 minutes and 44.6 minutes a day, respectively.
A ministry official said that the decrease of the volume and reading time is due to the smartphone which is more convenient to look into than the book. Meanwhile, increase of the reading among students was largely due to the five-day school week and the spread of the reading clubs among them.
To catch up with the trend using more smartphones than paper-based books, the National Library of Korea set up a plan collecting digital and online materials like e-books and offering them to the smartphone users.
According to the library, it will increase the number of e-book holdings to 940,000 by 2018 and expand its mobile services. A library official said, “By digitalizing key books and serving them online, we will keep increasing the accessibility to the knowledge and information through digital and mobile devices.”