4 Out of 10 Adults Read Less Than a Book a Year
Only some 65 percent of Korean adults read at least one book last year, a survey suggests.
The survey of 5,000 adults and 3,000 youngsters by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reveals the lowest reading volume on record since the government began tallying statistics in 1994.
The ministry conducted the survey between October of 2014 and September last year.
It found that the average annual reading rate among adults stood at 65.3 percent, down 6.1 percentage points compared to the previous survey in 2013. The rate excludes magazines, comics, textbooks and reference manuals.
The reading rate among youngsters stood at a respectable 94.9 percent last year, but that was still down 1.1 percentage points.
The number of books Koreans read per year and the amount of time they devote to reading also declined very slightly. Respondents on average read 9.1 books last year, down 0.1 book compared to 2013, and spent 22.8 minutes on a weekday and 25.3 minutes on weekends reading, down 0.7 minute and 0.5 minute. But those who did read books read more at 14 books on average, up from 12.9 books in 2013.
Some 64.9 percent of adults and 51.9 percent of youngsters felt guilty about not reading enough. Their excuses were lack of time due to work or studying (34.6 percent), followed by a lack of interest.