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Book Reading in Japan

February 28, 2009

About how many books do you usually read? (Sample size=9,566)

Ten or more books a month 6.9%
Six to nine books a month 3.5%
Four or five books a month 7.7%
Two or three books a month 20.0%
One book a month 14.8%
One book every two or three months 13.2%
One book every six months 8.1%
One book a year 4.6%
Less than that 11.9%
Don’t read books 9.3%

What genres of books do you read the most? (Sample size=6,321, those reading more than one book every three months, multiple answer)

推理小説 [Detective Novels] 41.4%
Hobbies (film, travel, cars, etc) 31.9%
Nonfiction 28.6%
Essay 28.5%
Science fiction, fantasy, horror 26.8%
Living, lifestyle 25.9%
Historical novels 24.7%
Business, economy 21.9%
Other novels 21.7%
Computer 19.4%
Education (qualifications, test, reference, etc) 16.4%
Romance 14.8%
Current affairs, politics 11.6%
Picture books, children’s books 8.2%
Pets 5.0%
Fortune telling, psychological tests 4.8%
Other 3.0%
Don’t know, none in particular 1.8%

What things are important when buying a book? (Sample size=5,925, those buying books, multiple answer)

Contents 71.0%
Author 54.9%
Price 39.4%
Best-seller, topic of conversation 14.1%
Length of series 12.3%
Book band, promotional catch-copy, introduction 11.5%
Hardcover or softcover 10.7%
State of the book (not sunbleached, etc) 9.3%
Book physical size, weight 7.6%
If it’s a series 6.9%
Published date 5.8%
Cover design 5.6%
Publisher 5.5%
Print size 5.4%
Illustrations 5.2%
Award-winning 4.6%
If it has been made into a drama, film 4.5%
Amount of printed type 3.7%
First edition 1.6%
Other 1.3%
Nothing in particular 4.3%

Source: What Japan Thinks

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6 comments

  1. It’s amazing just how many people you see reading in japan. and of all ages too..


    • Reading books or manga? :P


  2. about 50/50, I’d say. which is pretty darn good!


    • Oh, that’s a nice distribution, but I hope they read more books than manga per year.


  3. I thought suiri shousetsu was more like detective novels.


    • Yes, that is it. Thank you, I’ll add that translation :)



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