JAPAN - The longer people use smartphones, the less time they tend to spend reading books, according to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey.
This finding was obtained through a question posed to respondents who said they use smartphones not only for telephone calls but also for such purposes as e-mailing, browsing through Internet websites and gaming. According to the survey, 28 per cent of respondents use their smartphones for purposes unrelated to telephone communications.
Of them, 70 per cent of respondents said they spend the same amount of time reading books as before they started using smartphones. Seventeen per cent of them said their time spent reading decreased, 4 per cent said their reading time increased, and 8 per cent said they do not read books.
The survey, conducted on Sept. 28 and 29, also showed 10 per cent of those using smartphones for less than 30 minutes each day said their reading time decreased. Fourteen per cent of respondents using smartphones for at least 30 minutes but less than one hour said their reading time dropped. A similar response was given by 27 per cent of respondents who use smartphones for at least one hour.
Of all respondents, 53 per cent said they did not read a single book during the one-month period immediately prior to the survey, up from 51 per cent in a similar poll taken last year. The figure for those who did not read a book for a month exceeded 50 per cent for five consecutive years.
Asked in a multiple-answer question why they did not read a book, a 44 per cent said they did not have time. Thirty-five per cent answered they used public libraries during the past year, compared with 40 per cent in a survey conducted a year earlier.
The survey was conducted on 3,000 voters chosen from 250 locations through interviews.
Of the respondents, 1,600, or 53 per cent, offered valid answers. Forty-seven per cent of the respondents were men and 53 per cent were women.
By age group, 6 per cent of the respondents were in their 20s, 12 per cent in their 30s, 16 per cent in their 40s, 17 per cent in their 50s, 24 per cent in their 60s, and 24 per cent were 70 or older.
By location, 23 per cent were residents in major cities-23 wards of Tokyo and government ordinance-designated cities. Seventeen per cent were residents of regional core cities with a population of at least 300,000, 24 per cent lived in midsize cities with 100,000 to under 300,000 people, 26 per cent resided in small cities with under 100,000 people, and 10 per cent lived in towns and villages.
Figures have been rounded off to the nearest decimal point, thus total figures in the chart do not necessarily add up to 100 per cent. Zero per cent means under 0.5 per cent.