Page turners: Survey reveals shift in Thai reading habits

Photo via Facebook/ Thai Book Fair

A recent survey by the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT) and Chulalongkorn University revealed that Thai people spend nearly two hours per day reading, contradicting the long-held belief that Thais read less than eight lines of text a year.

Despite widespread belief, there is no solid evidence to support the notion that Thai residents rarely read books and even read less than eight lines of text per year. However, this misconception has persisted within Thai society for years and has been brought up multiple times in discussions on education in Thailand.

Previous surveys attempted to debunk this myth and the latest study by PUBAT and Chulalongkorn University further confirms the increasing reading habits among Thai people.

PUBAT Secretary Theeranai Sotthipintha reported on April 8 that PUBAT and Chulalongkorn University surveyed Thai reading habits and book purchasing behaviours in 2024. The survey was conducted in February with 2,550 participants aged between 12 and 50 years old.

Theeranai clarified that the survey found Thai people spend 113 minutes, or nearly two hours, reading each day, with 45% of respondents reading daily.

The survey also highlighted reading preferences among different age groups. Those aged 12-19 primarily read textbooks and exam guides, while those in the 30-39 and 40-49 age favoured self-improvement books, and people over 50 tended to read books related to health

Printed books remained the preferred format, although e-books were favoured by those over 50 due to the ability to adjust text size.

In addition, the recent 12-day Thai Book Fair, which concluded on April 8, saw 1.3 million Thai and foreign visitors, marking a 10% increase from the previous year. The fair generated sales exceeding 400 million baht.

PUBAT President Suwit Rungwattanapaibun noted that this was the 52nd book fair in Thailand and the largest in ASEAN. He expressed plans to expand the fair to other areas in response to its continuous growth, predicting that its success would significantly boost the Thai book market’s value to 1.7 billion baht this year.

Thailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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