Posted January. 29, 2010 06:25,
Korea last year saw 71.7 percent of its adults read a book, down half a percentage point from 2008, a survey conducted by the Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry said yesterday.
The figure was the lowest since the government began compiling it in 1994. The book reading ratio refers to the share of people who read at least one book a year.
The Korea Publishing Institute conducted the survey on behalf of the ministry. One thousand adults and 3,000 public school students were polled in November last year.
Korean adults read on average 10.9 books last year, one fewer than in the previous year. By contrast, the book reading ratio of public school students was 93.7 percent, the highest since 2000, as they read an annual average of 16 books, the largest in Korean history.
The rise in the ratio and the number of books is attributable to school programs, such as morning reading, which encourage reading before class.
The average number of books students read at schools with such programs was 18.1, or 5.6 more books than that of schools without the programs.