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THAILAND: Thais read less, watch more TV
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National Statistical Office secretary-general urges public and private sectors to sell books at cheaper prices and renovate libraries to advocate reading

Bangkok Post
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thais are spending less time reading and more time watching television, according to the National Statistical Office.

In its latest report, the office said 66.3% of people over six years old spent time reading last year, down from 69.1% in 2005, drop of almost 2%.

It said 33.7% of people decided not to read, and 54.3% of those chose to watch television instead.

The top four reasons for not reading were: they did not have the time, lacked interest, hated reading, or were illiterate.

This sort of behaviour could lead to Thai people being less imaginative, National Statistical Office secretary-general Thananuch Threethipy said.

As for the readers, they spent about 51 minutes reading per day in 2005 but only 39 minutes on average last year.

71 per cent of them read newspapers, and the percentage was close to the figure of Australia at 77.3 per cent. Other popular publications included novels, comic books, and fictions.

Youths spent most time reading at about 46 minutes a day.

Mrs Thananuch exhorted the public and private sectors to promote reading through the sale of books at cheaper prices and renovating libraries to attract more people.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies's ICT Centre can help with the improvement of libraries in the country, she said.

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