Saudi Center for Opinion Polling


  • 42
  • 05 Sep 2022

Research question(s) / challenge

How many people read, time spent reading?

What format is used for the different reading topics?

What is the motivation(s) to read?

Where and when do people read?


The survey questions are built by a team of three experts holding doctorate degrees, according to the Saudi Center’s methodology based on objectives. The sample was weighted to ensure that the analysis is generalizable to the entire target population. The survey questions were judged by two experts different from the third researcher who built the survey, and then the study plan was reviewed statistically and linguistically.
In light of the preceding, the population and the sample were determined, as the target population for this survey was Saudis who have mobile phones and are aged 18 years and over. Based on the findings of the General Authority for Statistics surveys, the mobile phone penetration was 96% in 2019 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The sample size for this poll amounted to 769 Saudis, which were chosen according to the simple random sampling method.

Key finding(s)

About 28% of the sample prefer the paper book, while about 72% of the sample prefer the electronic book. The results also indicate that the preference for the paper book is higher among females than males, with a difference of up to approximately 3%. According to the findings, the first goal of reading is learning and searching for information, followed by curiosity and acquiring culture, both of which are in the same percentage (24%). The third goal was the desire for self-development (12%). Saudis prefer to read in the evening, at a rate of about 45%, followed by the two morning periods by about 9%. The average number of hours of electronic reading per week is higher than the average number of hours of paper reading by about 4%. This may be due to the advantages of electronic reading over the paper in terms of ease and speed of access to content and low financial cost.
The results indicate that the age group of 31-45 years is the age group that has the highest number of weekly paper reading hours, and it reaches 4%, while the age group between 18-30 reaches 3.8%, and finally, the age group of 46 and over has a rate of 2.9%. Most of the respondents prefer reading at home. The rest of the percentage was distributed to waiting areas, parks, libraries, workplaces, and cafes.
As for visiting the book fair and with whom the Saudis prefer to visit, the results indicated that 50% of the Saudis prefer to visit the fair with their family. In comparison, 29% of them prefer to visit with friends, and finally, 21% of the sample prefer to visit the fair alone.

Future work

Such surveys are useful on more than one level. For the competent authorities, they are considered important results according to which they build their future plans in dealing with the reader, writers, and the main incubator for him, which is the book fair and public and private libraries. And the quality of readings that this or that community is interested in. Hence, the Saudi Center for Public Opinion Polling (SCOP) is interested in re-conducting such a survey periodically to find out the changes in reading patterns, methods, timings, and preferred places, the extent of demand for book fairs in the community, and how this turnout takes place.