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World Readers


Source: Shelf Awareness.

According to the NOP World Culture Score Index, readers in India are making the rest of us look bad.

Hours reading per week per person:

1. India — 10 hours, 42 minutes
2. Thailand — 9:24
3. China — 8:00
4. Philippines — 7:36
5. Egypt — 7:30
6. Czech Republic — 7:24
7. Russia — 7:06
8. Sweden — 6:54
8. France — 6:54
10. Hungary — 6:48
10. Saudi Arabia — 6:48
12. Hong Kong — 6:42
13. Poland — 6:30
14. Venezuela — 6:24
15. South Africa — 6:18
15. Australia — 6:18
17. Indonesia — 6:00
18. Argentina — 5:54
18. Turkey — 5:54
20. Spain — 5:48
20. Canada — 5:48
22. Germany — 5:42
22. USA — 5:42
24. Italy — 5:36
25. Mexico — 5:30
26. U.K. — 5:18
27. Brazil — 5:12
28. Taiwan — 5:00
29. Japan — 4:06
30. Korea — 3:06

My Thoughts:

India: Surprise. I’m surprised Indians read more than Chinese and Thai. Obviously Indians in India are yet to be “contaminated” by electronic media.

Thailand: Thai culture reveres teachers and books. The government encourages reading to the point that they would open a library right in the heart of business center so people can sit down and read. Throwing books around is just as disrespectful as touching a monk.

China: Another bookworm country. The Communist Party’s censorship doesn’t discourage inquisitive minds roaming bookstores.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s high rating is a bolt from the blue. It even beats Taiwan which is the home of a 24 hour-open bookstore chain, Eslite. Maybe NOP takes in account readings of tabloids.

United States: I’m on cloud nine! We beat the UK despite the fact that more literary fiction is published in the UK. Could we give books like Fifty Shades of Grey credit? But jokes aside, I’m pleasantly surprised and inspired. There are lots of readers around.

Japan/Korea: All those iPads and Samsungs tablets didn’t make them more proliferate readers.

Where is Singapore? Obviously the cold in Scandinavian region doesn’t make all he Scandinavians prolific readers. Only Sweden makes this list.

We’ve never had more distractions keeping us from focusing totally on a book as we have today. Now that we read on e-readers and phones, do we tend to read a few minutes at a time, instead of sitting in a chair for an hour or two? I see people reading on their tablets but end up browsing the web. Personally I read about 2 hours a day making about 14 hours a week.


2 Responses

  1. I am not surprised so many people in India read, but then again I know a lot of Indians in/from India. My brother-in-law, who grew up there, reads as much as I do, maybe more. I am happy to see countries like China reading since I really don’t know anything about what the Chinese do in their free time. I wish I could say I was surprised that the U.S. is so far down the list, but sadly I am not. I sometimes feel that Americans are either voracious readers or they hardly to never pick up a book. I haven’t run into many in between.

  2. I will like the Thais

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