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Two thirds of people in Cyprus say they read books

Almost two thirds of people living in Cyprus read books, Public Cyprus announced on Tuesday after the completion of a survey on the subject.

The survey, among 700 people over 18 from all districts, was presented by Public to the education ministry, “as a valuable tool to help map a long-term policy on books,” an announcement said.

According to the survey, around two thirds of the people asked, said they read books. Around one third said they read two to three books per year, 21 per cent said one, 15 per cent said four to seven books per year, 17 per cent said they read between eight and 12, while 16 per cent said they read more than 12 books per year.

More than half said they read mainly for entertainment and recreation, and one in five said they do it to improve their knowledge. Thirteen per cent said that they read books to be informed on issues of their interest, while other reasons given were to reduce stress, self-improvement, memory improvement and to improve the way they express themselves.

The findings indicated that frequency is age-related as almost half of the 18-24 age group said they read one book per year, while the majority of the 25-44 age group said they read three to four. Most people aged between 45 and 65 said they read between four to seven books per year.

The majority of the respondents said they read books when on holiday or on their free time, followed by those who said they read at night.

Half of the people asked said they read literature, followed by books on religion, history, science, psychology and philosophy. A small percentage, 1 per cent each, said they like to read poetry and biographies.

The majority, 91 per cent, said they buy books from bookshops, followed by the internet, and from abroad.

Less than half, 45per cent, said they own a tablet, while almost one third said they download books to their tablets.

Head of Public Cyprus, Demetris Filopoulos, also presented his company’s book campaign aiming “to bring Cypriots closer to books, […] and to provide incentives and opportunities to make them read more books, so that they too will inspire in their children a love for books, creativity, imagination and knowledge”.

One of the campaign’s actions is to invite children from 24 primary schools to each write a chapter of the Children’s Book with the assistance of children’s books writer George Lembesis. The book will be printed by Public, and all sale proceeds will be given to the schools.

Meanwhile Public also announced its annual book swap week for charity, which began on Monday and ends on Sunday, where anyone can bring books they no longer want and swap with books available at the special section. For every book they decide to take home, they pay €1 which will be given to the Sophia Foundation for Children. The book swap is taking place at the malls of Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos, between 11am and 7pm.

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