Turks only spend an average of one minute reading per day
According to recent research, the average length of time we in Turkey spend reading per day is one minute.
Reading books comes 235th in the list of our requirements. I guess smart phones must have stupefied us.
I am not against technological development, but I believe technology - especially mobile phones - create a kind of “digital captivity.”
Many people cannot let go of their phone. When I see those who are in non-stop contact with the world, I wonder why everyone is apparently waiting for an urgent message.
And while smart phones are stealing our minds and time, the remote control of the TV takes over the “captivity watch” when we return to our home.
Time thus passes stupefied in front of various screens. Days and nights pass by this way.
This being the case, the miniscule amount of time we spare for reading is very depressing to see the miniscule amount of time we spare for reading.
Still, I am not completely pessimistic. When I think about the publishing houses operating in Turkey, I am given hope that the number of readers has increased. What’s more, our book fairs are full.
Whenever I wonder if only a certain type of people read books in Turkey, the book fairs prove me wrong.
Almost every municipality in every town hosts a book fair.
But still, how many houses have libraries?
Homes in the poorer regions of Anatolia are one thing, but I do not even come across libraries in big urban houses.
What’s more, the number of people reading books on vacation is also very low.
Some libraries stay open 24 hours, and at the top of this list is the Atatürk Library in Istanbul’s Taksim neighborhood. But I do not know if any new libraries in Istanbul are being opened.
We do not have even one of the kind of libraries where each member of a family can just spend time, like the many examples in other countries.
Perhaps those who prepared this recent report on reading habits failed to take into account e-book readings. But from my own anecdotal research I can see that this kind of reading has not really taken root in Turkey.
On TV stations, meanwhile, there are barely any programs or references to books. Much of our media would not be aware of the existence of books, aside from the book supplements in some newspapers.
Should the media chase after popularity? Or should it try to raise up its readers and viewers culturally? Well, in my opinion the first option has already been chosen.
So what do we do to encourage people to read books? How can we still complain that they do not?
We are not good at self-criticism. So I wonder how many people are upset by the stark reality presented in this article.