Educated Arabs’ Reading Interests and Preferences Before, During and After the Pandemic
This study explored the reading interests, and preferences of educated Arabs such as students, faculty and professionals, the types and number of books they read before, during and after the Pandemic (between 2012 and 2022). Data were collected from Twitter threads, hashtags and surveys and responses to the question “What are you currently reading”. The Twitter data analysis showed that the preferred book titles with the highest percentages were novels/fiction (31.5% before the Pandemic and 41.5% during the Pandemic); Islamic books (22.5% before the Pandemic and 12% after the Pandemic); (iii) self-development books (12.5% before the Pandemic and 20% during the Pandemic). 80.7% preferred to read paper books and 19.3% electronic books. In most surveys, between 50%-60% of the respondents do not read at all. In 2 surveys, between 76%-80% do not read. The highest number of books read was during the Pandemic as 32.5% read 5 books and 38.5% read more than 20 books. The status of reading after the Pandemic was like that before the Pandemic (43.4% did not read). Even graduate and undergraduate students. 31% of graduate and undergraduate students read nothing outside their course textbooks. For enhancing students’ reading interests, preferences and the types and amounts of books read, the study recommended using book clubs, BookTok, encouraging students to visit libraries, using online courses, blogs, and mobile apps for discussing books read, integrating global topics in the school and college curriculum and others.
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