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9 in 10 Russians Read Books, Poll Says

Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Over 90 percent of Russians say they like to read books, according to a new survey in the country that has some of the world’s highest literacy rates.

“Only 4 percent of those polled said they barely read books,” the state-funded VTsIOM pollster said on Monday in a poll conducted on International Literacy Day.

The rate of non-readers went up to 22 percent among respondents without a high school diploma.

Children’s (31 percent) and history (30 percent) books enjoy the highest popularity among Russian readers. They are followed by household management and gardening books (27 percent) and classical Russian or foreign literature (26 percent).

Lower down, 22 percent said they prefer fantasy, 21 percent — academic and professional literature, and 20 percent – tutorials and reference books.

Those with a higher education prefer classical Russian or foreign literature (36 percent), history books (33 percent) and children’s books (32 percent), followed by academic and professional literature (30 percent.)

Eighty-seven percent of Russian respondents told VTsIOM they own a home library with at least 100 books.

Around a quarter of those in the 35-60 and above age group said they own between 100 and 300 books. A majority of respondents in the 13-34 age group said their home libraries contain up to 100 books.

Another 10 percent of the overall population said they own between 500 and more than 1,000 books.

VTsIOM conducted the survey among 1,600 Russian respondents on Sept. 8, International Literacy Day.

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