What do we read for pleasure?

I received an interesting copy of a survey conducted in an ESL class at Douglas College about whether and what people of different cultures choose to read for pleasure. I know that whenever I am on a bus or waiting somewhere I am always curious about what others are reading.

Here are the survey results:

China:
– Chinese historical adventure/romance/king fu (different dynasties) **very popular! Students told me, ‘America has a short history, so Americans like to read stories about the future, but China has a long history, so Chinese people like to read about the past’
– finance
– reading for pleasure is rare….you don’t see a lot of people reading in public
– very few people use libraries

Vietnam:
– reading for pleasure is rare, nobody reads, everyone uses electronic devices/Internet/social media

India:
– very highly educated people read newspapers, detective novels and for a specific purpose (school, work)
– you don’t see people reading in public…..women don’t have much time to read, as they are busy taking care of family/house….high percentage of illiterate people

Philippines:
– fairy tales, novels, fiction….similar to here, lots of people read for enjoyment…these students were familiar with English literature, classic and contemporary

Guatemala:
– reading for pleasure is highly uncommon
– only professional people read for pleasure
– the student who reported this never learned to read in Spanish, yet she really promotes reading with her children!

Iran:
– romance…..everyone reads romance…men, women, all the time 🙂 (there is a man and a woman from Iran in this class, and they both heartily agreed on this point!)
– personal development
– biographies
– historical novels and non-fiction
– the libraries are always crowded

Saudi Arabia:
– children don’t read (?)
– men rarely read…..however, women treasure books like they would jewelry
– self-help
– novels
– literature
– they prefer to buy new books, then they donate them to the library

I would like to thank Mary Daniel for the thought provoking material.  I know that I read a variety of different books and listen to still others from biographies to science fiction to travel writing to romance and mysteries. Has my reading been influenced the variety of different places I have lived?

What do you read? Or do you read for pleasure?

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About meganneilans

I am a library technician and I am job hunting. I graduated SAIT from the LIT program and TRU with a BA in history. I also attend UWO in the MLIS program and finished with 2/3 of my degree. I have worked in a variety of library settings and living in a variety of locales.
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One Response to What do we read for pleasure?

  1. HeatherD says:

    Thanks Megan, that was interesting! I’ve been experimenting by alternating between fiction and non-fiction. Fiction: historical fiction, novels, short stories, humour. Non-fiction: varies, weighted towards history.

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