‘No time to read,’ say Greeks

The management of new book malls that are slowly invading the Greek market hope to make people read more, but data just released on Greeks’ reading behavior do not leave much room for optimism. The percentage of Greeks who never read a book (apart from educational or professional texts) has risen – from 61.1 percent in 1998 to 65.8 percent in 2004, according to a Panhellenic Survey of Reading Behavior carried out by VPRC on behalf of the National Book Center (EKEBI). Since the illiteracy rate has certainly not risen, the causes must lie elsewhere. The survey found other important facts about Greeks’ reading habits that are linked to their daily activities. The main reason half of those polled gave for the fact that they don’t read is a lack of time. Reading of Greek literature has dropped to 65.5 percent from 72.5 percent in 1998, but is still the top choice for readers. The next most popular choices are technology and applied science (up to 22.4 percent from 18.4 percent in 1998) and social sciences (24.5 percent from 23.6 percent in 2004).