Centuries after Spanish missionaries first introduced it in the Philippines, the Bible remains to be the most widely read book in the country in the last year, according to the state-run National Book Development Board (NBDB).
During his presentation of the results of the 2017 NBDB Readership Survey in Quezon City on September 28, UP School of Statistics Dean Dr. Dennis S. Mapa said 72.25% of the Filipino adults polled picked the Bible as their most read book, climbing from 58% in the agency’s previous poll in 2012.
The Scriptures are also the top choice of those in the 25-to-34 (72.4%), 35-to-44 (75.1%), 45-to- 54 (72.1%) and 55-and-older (78.4%) age groups.
Picture books and storybooks for children ranked second among those surveyed at a distant 53%, followed by short stories for children at 52.08%. Both were added as survey choices only last year.
Books about romance and love scored 48.17 percentage, compared with 25% in 2012; reference books (encyclopaedias, almanacs, dictionaries, thesauri, atlases and maps)— the top genre among 18-to- 24-year-olds (70.4 percent- age)—47.92 percentage; and leisure, and entertainment and hobby books, 46.25 percentage.
Cookbooks and books on food and drinks got 42.83%, compared with 21% six years ago; books on health, wellness and medicine, 38.58% graphic novels and comics, 37.67% and short stories and novels for young adults, 33%.
Conducted by the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute, the survey involved the participation of 1,200 Filipino adults—18 years old and older—divided according to region: Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao (excluding the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), and the National Capital Region (Metro Manila).