The number of Mexicans who read books and other materials has decreased since 2015, according to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
Forty-two percent of respondents said they had read at least one book in the past 12 months compared to 50% in 2015.
Among those who do read books, the average number of titles finished per year remains unchanged at 3.3.
The proportion of people who read a wider range of materials including books, newspapers, magazines, comic strips and internet content (excluding social media) also went backwards, declining from 84.2% of the population in 2015 to 74.8% this year.
Almost half of all respondents to the Inegi survey said they didn’t read due to a lack of time while 21.7% said that they had no interest in reading.
More than 20% of those surveyed said they only understood “half” or “a little” of what they read.
In addition, Inegi found that only 11% of respondents had been to a library in the past year, that just under 60% had books other than textbooks at home and that one-third were read to by their parents when they were children.
The survey was carried out at 2,336 homes in all 32 states during the first 20 days of February. Respondents were literate adults living in cities of 100,000 people or more.
In January this year, President López Obrador launched the government’s National Reading Strategy, declaring that it will strengthen Mexico’s cultural and moral values.
Paco Ignacio Taibo II, a writer and head of the government-affiliated non-profit publishing group Fondo de Cultura Ecónomica (FCE), said there won’t be you-have-to-read campaigns but instead that “doors will be opened so there is access to reading for millions of Mexicans who today don’t have access for different reasons.”
He has already launched a series of eight books priced at US $2 or less and last month declared he was confident that the government could “turn Mexico into a republic of readers.”
Source: El Universal (sp)