Special Report: Average Thais read 37 minutes a day

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The average Thai spends 37 minutes reading per day, a 10-per-cent increase from the 2011’s findings.

Thailand Knowledge Park (TK Park) and the National Statistical Office conducted a survey in 2013 among 55,920 households on the population’s reading habits. 

The survey found that 81.8 per cent of Thais aged over six years old read around 37 minutes per day. The reading survey covered all books including academic and electronic media reading.

Bangkok residents are found to read the most at 94.6 per cent, followed by those from the Central, the South, the North and the Northeast regions, respectively.

The survey also found that the Thais read newspapers the most at 73.7 per cent. Other popular types are journals, academic books, magazines and religious books.

The figure represents a 10% increase from the 2011’s figure. International statistics at the time revealed a shocking finding that Thais read eight lines a year, while Vietnamese and Singaporeans read five books per year and Northern Europeans read 24 books per year.

Local authorities have said that Thailand will have to continuously work hard to promote reading and the significance of reading.

UNESCO has awarded Bangkok the World Book Capital City 2013. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), in collaboration with the Bangkok Reading Group, has launched campaigns to boost the country’s literary heritage and to instil a strong and sustainable culture of reading among city residents.

The UN agency estimates that the global adult illiterate population stands at 775 million, while there are still 122 million illiterate youth worldwide. Women and girls make up nearly two- thirds of the illiterate adult and youth population. In the Asia Pacific region, 506 million adults are illiterate.