I’ve noticed since I’ve started working at Singa, during the office hours very few of the teachers that I share my office with read books or newspapers, really read anything. The few that do read books read abridged books in Korean, the same level that many of my students read.
I’ve noticed in my school library, that there aren’t too many reading books, most of the books in the library are non-fiction and reference. Which is the opposite of libraries in the States, where probably about 60% of books in a library are fiction and the rest are non-fiction and reference. And when I browse bookstores in Seoul, the vast majority of the books, particularly in the children’s section, are simply translated books from other countries, generally books from the States and England.
I was talking to a friend of mine and she was telling me that in the public school system, there isn’t a reading class to help develop a love for books. Books are simply to study and memorize for the upcoming test. And it makes it understandable why a significant number of Koreans don’t like to read or even socially read (?) at a level equal to their age. I can’t imagine not reading for enjoyment, or having computer games as my main source of stress relief and fun.