According to recent studies and surveys, it's been found that the general Korean public is not reading as much as before.
Even though the government appointed the year 2018 to be 'The Year of Books' for the first time in 25 years, interest in books has been diminishing over the years due to various reasons. According to the '2017 Korea National Reading Survey' that was released back in February by the 'Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism', on average, 4 out of 10 adults did not read a single book in a year - the lowest since 1994 when the survey/study started.
Further examination revealed that one of the reasons for such a result stemmed from the lack of time for reading. One individual stated, "There's no luxury of opening a book after frequently working overtime, meeting with colleagues afterward, and going back home to wash up to sleep." The person also commented, "Especially recently, because it's more convenient to just search using the smartphone if there's anything I'm curious about, my hand doesn't necessarily reach out to grab a book."
Another reason for the decline in readership comes from the increased prices of books. Even though many stated that the cost of books has stabilized over the years, consumers voiced their opinion that they do not feel the same way. According to a survey carried out by the 'Korea Publisher Society', 59.2% of respondents indicated that the costs of books are too expensive compared to general prices. One expressed, "There are times when I have to pay over 50,000 KRW (~46.38 USD) when I only pick out 3 books. I feel like the set price itself is too expensive."
What do you think of the current readership rate in Korea?