Date
25 June 2017
Most youngsters prefer staring at their smartphones and computers to reading books and other publications. Photo: Xinhua
Most youngsters prefer staring at their smartphones and computers to reading books and other publications. Photo: Xinhua

60% of young people don’t read books, survey finds

A recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Publishing Professional Society (HKPPS) presents a worrying picture of local reading habits.

The survey found that 32.4 percent of the respondents have not read a single book in the past year, while more than 60 percent of those under the age of 18 admit they do not have a habit of reading books, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The survey was conducted from January 24 to March 1, and involved phone interviews with 1,498 residents.

Of those who said they have not read a book in the past 12 months, 45 percent admitted that they “never read” publications at all.

The trend is more pronounced among the younger generation, with over 60 percent of respondents under 18 saying they have not read any printed books other than their textbooks and comic books in the past year.

Of the respondents, 23.3 percent said they are too busy and have no time to read books, while 11.3 percent said they prefer reading online to reading printed books, the Hong Kong Commercial Daily reported.

The survey also found that 59.9 percent have used smartphones, tablets or desktop computers to read in the past year, with 48.1 percent saying they usually read “online news or commentaries”.

Meanwhile, 30.4 percent said their online reading consisted mainly of browsing social media sites, and only 10.9 percent said they have read electronic books in the past year.

HKPPS vice chairperson Chan Ka-yeung said the good news is over 70 percent of the respondents read printed books, but it is worrying that nearly 45 percent of those who haven’t read a book in the past year admit that they never read at all.

Sun Wai-ling, a children’s book author, suggests that parents create a reading-friendly environment at home, such as a devoting a corner of the room for reading books and chatting about them with their children.

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EL/FC/CG

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