SHKP Reading Index 2015 hits four-year high indicating stronger reading culture in Hong Kong
Promoting reading enjoyment by sharing good books


23 Jun 2015


  • My Reading Index and Index of Hong Kong Reading Culture at historic highs
  • 60% of Hong Kongers read in the past six months–an increase of 50% over last year most notably among young people
  • People read an average of 2.8 books in the previous six months–one more than last year
  • They spent an average of 2.3 hours per week reading books–a significant 80% increase over last year


Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) has conducted its SHKP Reading Index survey for a fourth year running, and the findings show that Hong Kong people’s interest in reading and their evaluation of the general reading culture in Hong Kong are at historic highs.  The average hours per week spent reading also increased significantly to 2.3, reflecting a major rise in reading culture among the general public.

SHKP commissioned Powersoft Consultancy, an affiliate of the Roundtable Institute and its network, to conduct the fourth Reading Index survey between 13 April and 15 May 2015.  They surveyed 1,400 random Hong Kong residents aged 15 and above by telephone or online (new this year), in an effort to explore people’s reading habits and their perceptions of reading and the overall literary culture.

The 2015 findings indicate that nearly 60% of respondents had read a book in the six months prior to the survey; a substantial increase compared to last year’s 40%.  Younger respondents tended to have better reading habits.  The number of books Hong Kong people read and hours spent reading also increased substantially.  Respondents read an average of 2.8 books and spent 2.3 hours per week in the six months prior to the survey compared to 1.7 books and 1.3 hours in 2014.  The survey puts the My Reading Index at 5.51 and the Index of Hong Kong Reading Culture at 4.94, both on a scale of 10.  The two figures are the highest of the past four years (see table below); an encouraging sign that Hong Kong has developed a strong reading culture.

The survey this year also asked respondents their views on book sharing and recycling.  The results show that 56% of respondents had participated in related activities and most enjoy sharing books with others.  Most said they supported book sharing campaigns because they hope ‘to read more free books’ (60.9%) or ‘more people would read the book I like’ (57%) and ‘to support environmental protection’ (50.4%).

SHKP Director of Corporate Communications Chris Liu said: “We are very happy to observe the survey findings reflect positive changes in Hong Kong people’s attitude towards reading.  It is also great to see that a culture of sharing books has gradually been cultivated.”

Mr Liu said that the Recycle your Read organized by the SHKP Reading Club and World Green Organisation has collected more than 10,000 books from different districts in four months, which reflects its success in encouraging the public to share good books with the others to extend the lifespan of books and promote sharing the joy of reading.

Mr Liu added that the reason for conducting Reading Index surveys for the last four years was to systematically investigate the reading habits of Hong Kong people to provide a credible reference for different sectors in the hope of gathering resources to promote a reading culture.  The SHKP Reading Club has a series of new programmes tailor-made for different segments of the community this year to let more Hong Kong people enjoy reading.  There are the Let’s Read, Elderly online programme in collaboration with the Hong Kong Society for the Aged (SAGE) encouraging seniors to read by offering a Read the Life feature page on the eElderly website that allows users to download the Club’s free Read Monthly and ReadIt magazines, and also Read and Share providing support to primary schools and unleashing teachers' creativity to promote a reading culture in schools with innovative methods.

SHKP Reading Index 2012 – 2015:

2015 2014 2013 2012
Respondents 1,400
(800 telephone interviews; 600 online interviews)
1,000
(telephone interviews)
800
(telephone interviews)
My Reading Index 5.51 4.75 5.10 4.81
Index of Hong Kong Reading Culture 4.94 4.51 4.68 4.77
Number of books read per person in the last half year 2.8 1.7 2 1.9
Average time spent reading per week 2.3 hours 1.3 hours 2 hours 1.8 hours


Other Reading Index survey highlights:

‘Enjoyment’ the main reason people read
It was found that more than half (61.3%) of the people interviewed 'read for leisure', while 55.5% read 'to kill time' and 54.1% 'to learn'.  Respondents who read regularly either did so for leisure or because they enjoyed practical books such as Novels / Genre / Literature (58.1%), Living (43%) or Psychology / Health / Medical (36.2%).  This suggests that reading in relaxed, casual settings is likely to be more conducive to promoting a greater local reading culture.

Decrease in reading print books
The majority (60.5%) of respondents who read regularly read print books (compared to 90.6% in 2014) and 2.6% read electronic books only (compared to 7.9% in 2014).  Overall, 80.9% of the books read were printed (compared to 91.7% in 2014) and 19.1% electronic, higher than in 2014 (8.3%).

‘Joy of reading’ needs to be promoted
Most respondents (31.8%) who did not read said they were not interested in reading.  Other respondents said they would read more if they had ‘more time after work / school’ (45.5%), ‘a library near home’ (37.2%) or ‘a decrease in the price of books’ (23%).  These findings are similar to the 2014 results that showed respondents would read more if they had ‘more time after work / school’ (49.7%), ‘a library near home’ (23%) or if ‘someone offered books to them as gifts’ (15.7%).

About the SHKP Reading Club

SHKP set up the SHKP Reading Club in late 2013 to consolidate its reading-related initiatives, and everyone is welcome to join for free.  The Club publishes the regular free ReadIt and Read Monthly magazines and organizes cultural events like seminars with leading speakers and guided cultural tours to inspire more people to enjoy reading and make it a habit.  Anyone interested can join at www.shkpreadingclub.com.

About Powersoft Consultancy

Powersoft Consultancy is an affiliate of the Roundtable Institute and its network.  Their aim is to publicize methodology and analysis of social science research in daily practice.  They provide innovative ideas and tailored solutions to address the different needs of clients. Powersoft’s team boasts diverse and extensive social science research backgrounds, combined with experience gained over many years since its founding.  The Powersoft Way® research method is patented with the Intellectual Property Department of the HKSAR Government.

SHKP Reading Index 2015 hits four-year high indicating stronger reading culture in Hong Kong
Promoting reading enjoyment by sharing good books


23 Jun 2015



  • My Reading Index and Index of Hong Kong Reading Culture at historic highs
  • 60% of Hong Kongers read in the past six months–an increase of 50% over last year most notably among young people
  • People read an average of 2.8 books in the previous six months–one more than last year
  • They spent an average of 2.3 hours per week reading books–a significant 80% increase over last year


Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) has conducted its SHKP Reading Index survey for a fourth year running, and the findings show that Hong Kong people’s interest in reading and their evaluation of the general reading culture in Hong Kong are at historic highs.  The average hours per week spent reading also increased significantly to 2.3, reflecting a major rise in reading culture among the general public.

SHKP commissioned Powersoft Consultancy, an affiliate of the Roundtable Institute and its network, to conduct the fourth Reading Index survey between 13 April and 15 May 2015.  They surveyed 1,400 random Hong Kong residents aged 15 and above by telephone or online (new this year), in an effort to explore people’s reading habits and their perceptions of reading and the overall literary culture.

The 2015 findings indicate that nearly 60% of respondents had read a book in the six months prior to the survey; a substantial increase compared to last year’s 40%.  Younger respondents tended to have better reading habits.  The number of books Hong Kong people read and hours spent reading also increased substantially.  Respondents read an average of 2.8 books and spent 2.3 hours per week in the six months prior to the survey compared to 1.7 books and 1.3 hours in 2014.  The survey puts the My Reading Index at 5.51 and the Index of Hong Kong Reading Culture at 4.94, both on a scale of 10.  The two figures are the highest of the past four years (see table below); an encouraging sign that Hong Kong has developed a strong reading culture.

The survey this year also asked respondents their views on book sharing and recycling.  The results show that 56% of respondents had participated in related activities and most enjoy sharing books with others.  Most said they supported book sharing campaigns because they hope ‘to read more free books’ (60.9%) or ‘more people would read the book I like’ (57%) and ‘to support environmental protection’ (50.4%).

SHKP Director of Corporate Communications Chris Liu said: “We are very happy to observe the survey findings reflect positive changes in Hong Kong people’s attitude towards reading.  It is also great to see that a culture of sharing books has gradually been cultivated.”

Mr Liu said that the Recycle your Read organized by the SHKP Reading Club and World Green Organisation has collected more than 10,000 books from different districts in four months, which reflects its success in encouraging the public to share good books with the others to extend the lifespan of books and promote sharing the joy of reading.

Mr Liu added that the reason for conducting Reading Index surveys for the last four years was to systematically investigate the reading habits of Hong Kong people to provide a credible reference for different sectors in the hope of gathering resources to promote a reading culture.  The SHKP Reading Club has a series of new programmes tailor-made for different segments of the community this year to let more Hong Kong people enjoy reading.  There are the Let’s Read, Elderly online programme in collaboration with the Hong Kong Society for the Aged (SAGE) encouraging seniors to read by offering a Read the Life feature page on the eElderly website that allows users to download the Club’s free Read Monthly and ReadIt magazines, and also Read and Share providing support to primary schools and unleashing teachers' creativity to promote a reading culture in schools with innovative methods.

SHKP Reading Index 2012 – 2015:

2015 2014 2013 2012
Respondents 1,400
(800 telephone interviews; 600 online interviews)
1,000
(telephone interviews)
800
(telephone interviews)
My Reading Index 5.51 4.75 5.10 4.81
Index of Hong Kong Reading Culture 4.94 4.51 4.68 4.77
Number of books read per person in the last half year 2.8 1.7 2 1.9
Average time spent reading per week 2.3 hours 1.3 hours 2 hours 1.8 hours


Other Reading Index survey highlights:

‘Enjoyment’ the main reason people read
It was found that more than half (61.3%) of the people interviewed 'read for leisure', while 55.5% read 'to kill time' and 54.1% 'to learn'.  Respondents who read regularly either did so for leisure or because they enjoyed practical books such as Novels / Genre / Literature (58.1%), Living (43%) or Psychology / Health / Medical (36.2%).  This suggests that reading in relaxed, casual settings is likely to be more conducive to promoting a greater local reading culture.

Decrease in reading print books
The majority (60.5%) of respondents who read regularly read print books (compared to 90.6% in 2014) and 2.6% read electronic books only (compared to 7.9% in 2014).  Overall, 80.9% of the books read were printed (compared to 91.7% in 2014) and 19.1% electronic, higher than in 2014 (8.3%).

‘Joy of reading’ needs to be promoted
Most respondents (31.8%) who did not read said they were not interested in reading.  Other respondents said they would read more if they had ‘more time after work / school’ (45.5%), ‘a library near home’ (37.2%) or ‘a decrease in the price of books’ (23%).  These findings are similar to the 2014 results that showed respondents would read more if they had ‘more time after work / school’ (49.7%), ‘a library near home’ (23%) or if ‘someone offered books to them as gifts’ (15.7%).

About the SHKP Reading Club

SHKP set up the SHKP Reading Club in late 2013 to consolidate its reading-related initiatives, and everyone is welcome to join for free.  The Club publishes the regular free ReadIt and Read Monthly magazines and organizes cultural events like seminars with leading speakers and guided cultural tours to inspire more people to enjoy reading and make it a habit.  Anyone interested can join at www.shkpreadingclub.com.

About Powersoft Consultancy

Powersoft Consultancy is an affiliate of the Roundtable Institute and its network.  Their aim is to publicize methodology and analysis of social science research in daily practice.  They provide innovative ideas and tailored solutions to address the different needs of clients. Powersoft’s team boasts diverse and extensive social science research backgrounds, combined with experience gained over many years since its founding.  The Powersoft Way® research method is patented with the Intellectual Property Department of the HKSAR Government.