Every Fourth Bulgarian Reads a Book every day. Every third - never
Every third of the adults in Bulgaria (36%) state that they do not spend time reading books, and every fourth (24%) read almost daily. This shows the data from a national representative survey of public opinion conducted by the Open Society Institute - Sofia in April 2018, reports MediaPool.bg
The younger and the more educated, the higher-income people, as well as those who browse the Internet more than the country average, are more likely to spend time reading books. This is more often done by people who are more critical of media information and, to a lesser degree, are convinced that the media in the country provide accurate and verified information and do not succumb to political or economic pressures.
The survey results show that there are no significant differences between the reading habits registered in 2016 and 2018.
Young people read more than the elderly
Data show that people over the age of 60 are reading significantly less often than the younger - almost half (49%) of people over 60 say they do not spend time on books, whereas among those aged 29 and over , the ones who are not reading at all, are 2 times less (24%). Among the youngest, every third (34%) states that they read books almost every day, and as the age increases, this share drops to 22% for people over 60. For people over 30, the time spent to read is almost every day - that is the situation for just over 1 in 5 people, which is close to the country average.
Most people who read live in Sofia and the big cities
The share of people who say they spend time reading books almost every day is about 3 times bigger in the capital (33%) and in the regional cities (30%) than in the villages (12%). In municipal centers, they read 21%, which is close to the average for the country. Every second person living in a small settlement says he/she does not read books at all, while in Sofia this is true for only one in five people.
In terms of gender, there is a difference in reading habits between men and women, but it is not as big as in populated areas - among men, 41% say they never spend time reading books, and among women this percentage is 33%.
Education and income matter
Expectantly, very large differences in the interest in reading books are observed by degree of education - the more educated you are the more you read. For example, among university graduates, nearly half (43%) read almost every day, which is 20% more than the country average, and only 11% admit that they do not read books at all. The reading frequency of secondary school graduates does not differ significantly from that of the average adult citizen of the country. Three quarters of people with basic and lower education (76%) said they did not read books at all, which is over 2 times the share of the country average (36%).
In line with the dependence between the degree of education and the frequency of reading books, research data shows that the higher a person's income, the more often he/she spends time reading books. Among those the households with the highest monthly income (over BGN 700 per household member), those who do not read at all are about 20%. Among people with a monthly income of between BGN 450 and 700, 29% say they do not read, and for those who live with between 300 and 450 BGN a month, the share of those who do not read at all reaches 47% . The highest share of people who said they did not read - 59% - refers to the poorest people with up to $ 300 a month. Those who read books almost every day in all income groups are about 20%, which is close to the country average (24%), and for those with the highest income, this percentage increases to almost 30%.
Workers read more often
If we look at the reading habits of people according to social status, we will find that two groups are formed - workers (including retired workers) and those who do not work (including unemployed and retired). The group of workers reads significantly more often than those who do not work. More specifically, two out of every three unemployed (62%) and half of the retired retirees (51%) never spend time reading books. By contrast, among those employed, the share of those who never read is one third (33%) for pensioners and 26% for working-age workers.
More internet means more books
The study also shows another dependency - people who browse the internet every day (46% of the country's adult population) have different behaviors in reading books from the other groups of the population of the country.
Regular Internet users spend much more time reading - every third (31%) read books almost every day, while every fifth (22%) does not read books at all. Again, the ratio among the adult population - every fourth (24%) read almost every day, and roughly every third (36%) does not read books at all.
People who read more are more critical of media information
The data reveals another dependency. What kind of media do you trust mainly when you need information about the situation in the country? ", Those who point to the Internet read books more than those who trust television networks. More specifically, every third (33%) of internet users say they read books almost every day, unlike television spectators, where only 20% spend time reading almost every day. Of those who rely on information about the social life through television, 40% admit they never read books, and among those looking for information on the Internet, only four (25%) never read books, a small share of the country average (36%).
In response to the question whether they believe that the media in Bulgaria provide accurate and verified information to the public without deliberately concealing or distorting facts, and whether the media in our country is succumbing to political or economic pressure or influence, there are differences in reading habits. Of those who believe that the media provides accurate information and are independent of foreign influences, over 40% say they do not spend enough time reading, and only 30% declare the same from those who do not believe in these statements.
In the more trustworthy about the quality of information that the media poses in the public space, people who read almost every day (17-19%) are 10% less than the more critical (27-29%).
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