Reading becomes popular hobby in S. Korea amid COVID-19 pandemic: market data

By Park Sae-jin Posted : October 12, 2020, 09:39 Updated : October 12, 2020, 09:39

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- The hobby of reading gained popularity among children and teenagers in South Korea after a coronavirus pandemic grounded the energetic young-blooded to their homes for many months, data showed. Sales of books for preschool children and teenagers were on the rise this year.

Government data showed that an adult South Korean read an average of 7.5 books, physical and electric, in 2019, down from 9.4 in 2017. Book sales in the third quarter of this year were up 49 percent from a year earlier, Wemakeprice, an online shopping service operator, said in a statement on October 12.

Books for preschool children were most popular, followed by books for teenagers. Other popular books were reference books and textbooks used for online classes.

Wemakeprice said that the demand for homeschooling teaching materials was reflected in book sales. "More consumers are buying books via online stores as it gets harder for them to visit crowded places such as offline book stores and libraries," an unnamed Wemakeprice official was quoted as saying.

Consumers who wish to find good books at affordable prices purchased secondhand books. Third-quarter sales of secondhand books rose 343 percent on-year. Comic book sales were up 47 percent.
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