[STUDY] 43.7% university students in Qatar read for pleasure
[Photo courtesy: Joey Coleman via Flickr]
“No one reads anymore”. Myth or truth?
Well, at least 43.7% university students in Qatar do read for pleasure, a survey on reading habits has revealed. About 31.2% sometimes read for pleasure. Only a quarter said they didn’t.
“There are many myths about reading habits and Arab reading habits in particular. We wanted to get some concrete numbers about people’s reading habits to see whether any of the oft repeated phrases such as “No one reads anymore” are true,” says Dr Mohana Rajakumar, who conducted the study with a team of undergraduate students across campuses in Qatar Foundation.
The study titled ‘Reading habits of University Students in Qatar’ was based on responses of 300 young participants, starting with 15 years. About 70% were females, and 44% were Qataris.
A majority of those who read for pleasure, did so a few times per week (34.2%). Only 19.8% read everyday.
The most popular genre was Magazines and Newspapers (45.9%), followed by Fantasy (39.2%) and Mystery (33.4%). About 46.6% participants preferred Arabic as the language for reading, while 18.2% preferred English; 35% were comfortable with both.
Barring a few bookstores and libraries, finding a good book in Qatar isn’t easy. Interestingly, about 42% participants have said they downloaded e-books, while 11.7% listened to audiobooks.
“I was raised in family that read constantly; and many of focus group interviewees indicated that being raised around books or being given books as gifts when children played a key role in realising reading can be a leisure time activity. Reading is an important cognitive activity, particularly for leisure time, because it allows the reader to make meaning for him/herself without it being imposed like in a business or academic setting,” Dr Rajakumar adds.
On the occasion of World Book Day last year, celebrated on April 23, JustHere reader and Qatar resident Shelley Knipe too shared with us how books have enriched her life.
“As a teenager my best moments were roaming the main library in my hometown, Cape Town. I’d often miss the train home after school just to spend an hour or two breathing in the smell of musty pages, discovering books on all subjects, thoughts, opinions, histories, magnificent and tall stories, intimate sentiments, scientific experiments and instructions….
“Now that I am a parent, the luxury of reading a book for my own personal edification is a rare and limited event…”