The Hindu reports on a survey of book reading habits in north Tamil Nadu, conducted in mid 2006.
More than three-fourths of the 329 people surveyed by a group of journalism students from Softview Visual Communication were between the ages of 15 and 40. They rated education as the principal reason for buying books.
The survey had several parameters, including reasons, material chosen, preferred time and preferred language for reading. It was conducted with the reading public in Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Villupuram and Cuddalore as the target group.
A little more than half of those surveyed said they preferred to read English books though around 80 per cent marked their mother tongue as Tamil.
While English was associated with better employment opportunities, the upwardly mobile young adult group still seems almost evenly split between reading English and Tamil books.
More than a fourth of them said that books for leisure reading were important, while around a fifth of all respondents said they preferred reading personality development books.
More than 40 per cent said that they prefer to buy books from book fairs, though about the same proportion still frequent bookshops. Online book shopping seems to be picking up slowly with around 2 per cent choosing that mode of shopping.
Most readers also said that they prefer to read at home in the evenings or night. Around half the number surveyed said they had a personal collection of books at home.
The principal factors affecting the choice of books were reviews in magazines, the reputation a particular book gained by word of mouth, or the author's popularity.