Vietnamese people lose the reading habit
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese people read an average of one book a year, according to reports. 


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An article about a four-year-old girl in the US - Daliyah Marie Arana – who had read more than 1,000 books was enough to stir up a hot debate on education forums about the Vietnamese habit of reading books.

“The Independent wrote that the girl began reading books when she was 2 years and 11 months old and has read more than 1,000 books so far. This really makes us feel ashamed,” commented Hoang Ha on her Facebook page.

A report from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism released in September 2016 on the occasion of the Book Day, one Vietnamese person reads fewer than one book a year.

Meanwhile, at the third Vietnam Book Festival on April 19, 2016, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Pham Manh Hung said one person reads four books a year, including 2.8 textbooks and 1.2 books of other kinds.

This means that the number of books Vietnamese read is just equal to 1/5 of the number of books read in other countries such as France, Japan and Israel.

Also according to Hung, every citizen of the countries reads up to 20 books a year. Meanwhile, among regional countries, Singaporeans read 14 books a year and Malaysian 10.

A report from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism released in September 2016 on the occasion of the Book Day, one Vietnamese person reads fewer than one book a year.

Prior to that, in 2015, the Ministry of Information and Communication’s Publication Agency said that every Vietnamese reads 2.8 books and 7.07 newspapers a year.

Meanwhile, the number of Vietnamese who do not read books was up to 26 percent of the total population. Forty-four percent of people said they read books occasionally and 30 percent read them often. Only 8-10 percent of population often go to libraries.

A parent in Hanoi commented that Vietnamese adults don’t like reading books because they are too busy to working to earn a living. He said that many years ago, Vietnamese liked reading books because they had more free time. 

The parent said that children don’t like reading books because they have to spend too much time studying for school.

“My son, a third grader, has to spend most of his time on studying, and he sleeps when he has free time,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Thanh Phan, deputy director of the Center for Vietnam and South East Asia Studies, commented that Vietnam has a very high number of TV channels which provide information in many different fields, from entertainment to politics. 

“Nearly all information can be found on TV,” he commented. “Many people, from children to middle-aged, go to internet cafes if they have free time.”

He also said that Vietnamese don’t have time to read books because they are busy playing with and using smartphones and tablets.
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Thanh Mai

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