4 out of 10 Koreans do not read a book for a year … Book prices are too expensive

“Reading is burdensome”… People avoid reading

The reading rate among Koreans is getting lower recently. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced in February that according to the ‘2017 National Reading Survey’, four out of ten Korean adults have not read a single book for a year. The most mentioned reason for poor reading rate is ‘lack of reading time’ due to hectic lifestyles. People also blame the high prices of books, which is the result of the book price system law enforced since 2003 that prohibits bookstores from arbitrarily offering discounts. Some say it is positive that book prices have stabilized, but many readers have voiced out that they do not see the benefits of high book prices.

Restrictions on the book rental market and the rise of the e-books also play large parts. The period of long-term book rental service has been drastically reduced. On the other hand, the growth in popularity of e-books contributes a great deal to total reading volume.

Experts say in order to raise the reading rate, it is necessary to provide opportunities for people to read at public institutions. Also, public investment is needed to provide incentives for retailers to lower book prices.

1. [+1556, -192] Books are quite expensive.

2. [+913, -18] Standardization of book prices was a shitty law but the reason for the low rates of reading isn’t because of the price standardization nor being busy. It’s because there are many more contents like Youtube and games that are more fun than reading. Even if you don’t have enough time, you can still find some spare time for reading. You can afford a book by not buying two cups of coffee. There’s a library in every neighborhood. At the end, we just don’t want to read.

3. [+998, -150] It’s an excuse to say you don’t have time to read. You can finish a book in a month by reading for 10 minutes before going to bed.

4. [+570, -17] The problem isn’t the lack of time. It’s that people these days don’t have the ability to read. It’s also the problem of the education system.

5. [+314, -11] Sometimes, when I feel discouraged by the book prices, I rent books from a library.

6. [+180, -2] In the US, e-books are half of the price of physical books. But our country doesn’t have many e-books and the e-book prices are similar to physical books. And it’s impossible to have discounts because of the standardization law. In Europe, books that are older than 1 year and 8 months don’t have discount limits but it’s impossible to have any discounted book in our country.

Sources: naver, kpopkfan

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