Comments: 12
Barks At Everything 5 months ago
The US stats make me a little sad. I have four people in my house and I am the only one who read a book last year so, yeah, accurate.
Hah, the inverse of ours. 4 in ours, I know three read a lot. (Not so certain about my step-brother, who is a computer dude.)
BookLikes 5 months ago
We hear you, Polish people aren't winners in the reading competition either -- that's what the official stats show :/ Fortunately, we know a lot of people who love reading and what's really inspiring is that these people are of different age, profession, origin. We sometimes wonder how they pick people for the "reading surveys", maybe they just choose wrong people to answer the questions? ;)
Murder by Death 5 months ago
I was actually relieved to see the US made the top 10... I was a bit worried when I started reading it, to be honest. And... all the places I want to go for holidays make the top 10, so at least I'm heading to highly literature destinations. :)
meeplemaiden 5 months ago
I can't imagine not having a book to read, it's a way of life. People just don't know what they are missing. I'd pick a book over tv any day.
BookLikes 5 months ago
Yes!
Murder by Death 5 months ago
Same here - my total tv (edited from 'reading' - a definite error) time per week is less than 5 hours, although I blow through the stat on computer time; even if you don't count my day job, because there's this book site that's sort of my second home... ;-)

As I get older I'm meeting more people who read books, but that's only been in the last 5 years or so; before that I was almost always the only person who read for pleasure. So either literacy is making a comeback, or I'm just getting better at choosing my friends. :D
So would I, meeplemaiden!
Debbie's Spurts 5 months ago
I wish they wouldn't have broken it out by hours read per week. Everyone's lives, reading speeds and reading materials are different where " hours read per week" is a worse measure than "percentage of available leisure hours spent reading."

Has anyone reading this ever been surveyed about how many hours per week they spend reading?

I don't personally know anyone who said they participated in any of the sourced surveys or were surveyed about their reading habits. I've never been asked (outside of a couple of polls on a book site about specific reading preferences). I'm in U.S., Kentucky.

Among adults, I know only one person in real life who doesn't read books -- oddly, they do devour endless magazines and newspapers -- although I know two that don't read fiction (one of those will read mostly historical fiction or partly fictional biography and the other is my husband) and many that only read a couple of books a year (mostly guys that read less than five a year).

Among teenagers I know in real life, outside of required school reading it runs to extremes -- either absolutely will not read by own choice or will devour whatever types of reading they like, about half and half. Fewer of the guys read. All say they have many more schoolmates that do not read.

Many college students I know that were readers now have so much required for courses (and the new adult ing stresses) they read less for their own enjoyment. A few went the opposite direction and now voraciously read to deal with the stress and the waiting in things.

My city of Louisville is fairly urban (hardly New York or Los Angeles levels) with plenty of libraries, bookstores, and used bookstores despite losing a few well beloved bookstores. I avoid the Barnes and Noble on Friday and Saturday night because it's actually a pickup joint -- true story, I can run into all kinds of acquaintances and book club members throughout the week dressed normal then come the weekend out come the manhunting attire where the Barnes and Noble has all these high-heeled, glam makeup chicks in the aisles...

Louisville fairly urban but close by are much more rural areas and friends. The more rural, the less to do than read. At least monthly trips into Louisville for bookstores and oh boy do they love the interlibrary loan program where always going to rural library branch to pickup.

I'm assuming by "reading" in all those infographics that they generally aren't narrowing what types of works read. I'm not saying that most adults I know are readers reading lots of hours, but they do read even if only on vacation because lives and families mean little time for it.
It interesting seeing a Chinese dictionary among all the fiction. Also, what's with those pre-orders???

I think all my family, even extended, have read a book the past year, minus one cousin. The taste varies mostly form history to technical, since they read with an aim to self-improve more than enjoyment (except mom and granma), but they do read. I know there is a lot of people that don't like to read, but I'm always perplexed when I'm are talking to someone that has read not one book in a year or more. And a bit uncomfortable, and sad. Not one? Not one fairy-tale you read you child? Or a time you were curious about something? Or tried to learn something new? Or wanted to know what the fuss in all those talk-shows was about?
YouKneeK 5 months ago
I enjoyed reading and analyzing these charts! As a U.S. citizen, the U.S. numbers were particularly disappointing to me, although not surprising based on my personal experience. The U.S. literacy ranking isn’t bad, but that’s not surprising either since the ranking is more about education and access than about actual reading behaviors according to the chart description.

It was interesting to see that being one of the countries rated more highly for literacy doesn’t necessarily translate into people reading more. For example, the U.S. ranks 7th in literacy, but only about 24th in actual reading quantity. Many of the countries with the highest literacy rating don’t even appear on the “Which Countries Read the Most?” list and vice versa. I guess one possible explanation is that people in more literate countries (as described in the chart) are also likely to have more access to other types of entertainment choices.

I do agree with Debbie that hours read per week isn’t necessarily the best metric. Many of us would be happy to spend more hours reading per week if we only had the time. :) I think the *percentage* of free time (time not spent working, doing school-related activities, sleeping, or taking care of family obligations) would be more relevant. For example, compare somebody who works a full-time job while taking university classes and perhaps only has 5 hours of spare time per week with somebody who is retired, does minimal to moderate volunteer work, and has much more free time. If both people read 4 hours a week, the former person probably places a higher priority on reading than the latter person because they’re dedicating 80% of their free time to reading. Using percentages wouldn’t be perfect, because there could be other restrictions on one’s reading (such as physical disabilities or availability of materials), but I do think it’s at least better than measuring straight hours.
Debbie's Spurts 5 months ago
I'm also not sure it's fair to compare reading hours or other reading stats for countries with free access and wide availability of books to countries with few books or politics restricting access.