Internet use in Thailand reduces time spent reading books

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A recent survey reveals that 88% of Thais read books, on average 28 minutes a day but a lot less than time spent on the Internet.

Thai reading survey

According to The Nation newspaper, it was revealed that a poll found Thai people spend just 28 minutes reading each day, lower than the 2013 report by the National Statistics Office that found Thais over 6 years old spent an average of 37 minutes a day reading.

The poll was taken from a survey of almost 3,500 Thai people in 12 provinces across the country and between December 2014 to January 2015. It was a collaboration between Thai Publishers and Booksellers Association (PUBAT), and Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Economics and Research Centre for Social and Business Development, with the aim of learning more about Thais’ reading habits (including electronic media), book buying and impacts of social media in the purchasing decisions.

88% of Thais read books

The poll found that 88 per cent of Thai respondents said they read books, while 12 per cent said they do not, with reasons varying from the lack of time to read, bad eyesight and a dislike of reading.

The average Thai it seems spends 28 minutes a day reading when extrapolated to the overall population, while those in the survey spent 46 minutes a day reading. As part of the group, people under 20 years old spent 56 minutes each day reading, but the figure shrinks as they get older until 61 years of age when they again start to read more.

It also appears that young people mostly read cartoons, picture novels and examination-preparation books.

PUBAT president, Charun Homtientong, said the e-book market remains small, as the survey reveals that 90 per cent of people read from paper books while 9.49 per cent read from e-books. Many of the respondents said they preferred the feel of paper books.

Charun also urged the government to pay more attention to and budget for promoting reading and publication businesses.

The Internet more influential

Thai Using Internet

Unsurprisingly, the Internet is much more influential than books on the average Thai person, with 71% of Thai people using the Internet every day for a total of 92 minutes, three times more than the reading figure. Those people under 20 years old spend the most time online at 224 minutes a day while people over 61 spend just 10 minutes a day online.

The survey also found that Thais buy four books each year, while the under 20’s buy nine books each year – four of these are cartoons or picture books, and three exam books. People between 21-30 buy six books a year and senior citizens buy around four books every year.

SOURCE: The Nation

Have you seen people in Thailand reading many books? Let us know in the comments what you think about these statistics, and do they reflect the same situation in other countries around the world?

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7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Internet use in Thailand reduces time spent reading books

  2. I would really question if the responses they got were for the survey’s benefit. I have 3 kids in the house from 9-13 years and a Thai wife. I’ll be they don’t spend 46 minutes a year reading books, except when the kids absolutely have to for school.

    I think the title of this article should be “Internet use in Thailand gives one more excuse to not read books.”

  3. There is a presumption abroad in the world that simply because somebody went to the expense of publishing information that it has value and should be read, which is crap. Information is published to make money. If, for example, people spent 5 hours a day reading Barbara Cartland books, aka “pious pornography”, their time would be better spent playing video games. At least they would be improving their manual coordination. Besides, there isn’t much to do on-line that does not involve reading.

  4. Don Aleman on

    Rubbish ! In my 10 years here I’ve only witnessed people, adults included, reading comic books & girly mags about 10 minutes a week ! My Thai wife. 38, admits to NEVER having read a book outside of school text books and rarely even those !

  5. ChrisWard99 on

    Some people Thai people probably read a lot, others not so much. No different to anywhere else in the world, I’d say.

    Also, there’s a good point below – it could be that whilst Thai people no longer read books, maybe they are reading a wealth of information on websites or maybe they are reading e-books.

  6. 28 minutes a day, but if you count time spent reading Line then it’s about 4.5 hours a day.