WTF Fun Fact 13751 – Norwegians Read More

Norwegians love to read. A survey from 2010 highlighted this passion. Reading isn’t just a holiday activity; it’s a year-round habit. During Easter, many Norwegians dive into murder mysteries. They enjoy detective stories and what they call “påskekrim” or Easter crime. Easter in Norway means skiing, family cabins, lamb roasts, oranges, and crime novels. The newspaper Aftenposten reported this.

A study called Bokundersøkelsen 2010 showed impressive reading statistics. It was conducted by Norway’s publishers’ and book dealers’ associations. The study revealed that 90 percent of Norwegian men and 97 percent of Norwegian women read at least one book last year. Almost half of the women read more than ten books in a year. Norwegians don’t just read crime fiction. Literature, biographies, and political books also sell well. The local bookstores have a vast selection.

A Nation of Avid Readers

The survey described an “avid reader” as someone who reads more than 30 books a year. Ten percent of Norwegian men and 16 percent of Norwegian women fit this description. Books in Norway are not cheap. A new hard-bound book can cost over NOK 400, which is nearly USD 70. Despite the cost, Norwegians still buy and read many books.

Not only do Norwegians read a lot, but they also give books as gifts. When choosing a gift, they are most likely to pick a book. Nearly 80 percent of parents read aloud to their children at least three times a week. Books are the most common gift for children. Norwegians grow up with books. Randi Øgrey of the book dealers’ organization Bokhandlerforeningen told Aftenposten, “The most important thing is that we top the charts internationally with our reading.”

Norway has 640 bookstores. They have book clubs, and books are even sold in grocery stores. Øgrey noted that fewer people now think books are expensive. The rise of e-books and other media doesn’t worry her. She told Dagens Næringsliv (DN), “Our goal is to maintain this high level, no matter what the format.”

Reading: A Cultural Staple for Norwegians

The passion for reading in Norway isn’t a new trend. It’s deeply ingrained in their culture. The tradition of reading aloud to children fosters a lifelong love for books. This practice helps maintain high literacy rates and encourages reading as a leisure activity.

The survey also highlighted the diversity in reading preferences. While crime fiction remains popular, Norwegians also indulge in a wide range of genres. This includes contemporary literature, historical biographies, and political essays. Bookstores reflect this diversity with their vast and varied collections.

Norwegian readers also benefit from a strong network of libraries. These libraries provide access to books that might otherwise be too expensive for some. They play a crucial role in maintaining the nation’s high reading levels. The support for libraries underscores the value placed on reading and education in Norwegian society.

The Future of Reading in Norway

Looking ahead, the challenge for Norway is to maintain its high reading levels in the digital age. The rise of electronic books and the internet has changed how people consume content. However, Norway’s reading culture appears resilient. The commitment to reading is evident in the continued high sales of physical books and the popularity of bookstores.

Efforts to promote reading among the younger generation are crucial. Programs encouraging children to read from an early age will help sustain the reading culture. Schools and parents play a vital role in these efforts. By fostering a love for books early on, Norway can ensure that future generations continue to be avid readers.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Norwegians tops in reading” — Norway News in English

WTF Fun Fact 13184 – People in India Read the Most

People in India spend 10 hours and 42 minutes a week reading, the most of any country on Earth. The U.S. makes up about 30% of the world’s book-buying population. But Americans don’t crack the top 5 for the time spent reading metric.

Where do most readers live? People in India read the most

India, Thailand, China, Phillippines, and Egypt round out the top 5 for the most time spent reading per person, on average, per week.

Data collected between 2017 and 2022 showed that:

  • India ranks first, with people spending 10 hours and 42 minutes reading per week (556.4 hours per year).
  • Thailand ranks second with weekly totals averaging 9 hours and 24 minutes (488.8 hours per year).
  • China readers average 8 hours a week (or 416 hours per year).
  • Those in the Philippines tend to read 7 hours and 36 minutes per week (395.2 per year.)
  • And Egyptians read for 7 hours and 30 minutes per week (or 390 minutes per year).

Books and their readers

Data collected between 2011 and 2020 shows that Americans love buying books (and they do read them, so it’s not just book hoarding). And most Americans do read books.

The World Population Review compiled numbers from various research studies and showed that while people in India read the most (in terms of hours spent reading):

Altogether, Americans read 275,232 books per year and makeup 30% of the market share of book buyers. A Pew Research Center study published in 2016 found that 72% of Americans had read a book the preceding year, a number that rose to 75% in 2022. But that rise was almost certainly due to the pandemic keeping people at home. In 2016 Americans read an average of 12 books a year (though 50% of the nation reads 4 or fewer, so we’re depending on some people to read a lot of books to make us look good). But we still tend to read more physical books than e-books, even though the e-book trend is growing in the U.S.

In other countries:

  • China reads 208,418 books on average per year (10% of all books purchased).
  • The United Kingdom reads about 188,000 books every year, and book sales have reached about 212 million!)
  • Japan makes up 7% of the market share for book buyers, and the Japanese read an average of 139,078 books per year. This makes up about 7% of the total market share.

What are the most popular books in the world? Well, you can probably guess – it’s the Holy Bible and the Holy Qu’ran. Next in line come The Harry Potter Series, The Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse Tung, and Lord of the Rings. Eclectic!  WTF fun facts

Source: “Average Books Read Per Year by Country 2023” — World Population Review