Jerusalem tops list of Israel's most well-read cities

Survey conducted in honor of the 23rd International Book Fair finds that one-third of Jerusalemites read three or more books a month.

book week 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
book week 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Jerusalemites are truly "a people of the book", ranking first in several categories of a national survey conducted last week in honor of the 23rd annual International Book Fair set to kick off on Tuesday in the capital's convention center. Of the 1,800 males and females over the age of 18 that were polled nationwide by the Geocartography Institute, 68% of those residing in Jerusalem said they read at least one book a month, while 33% said they were "heavy readers," devouring three or more books in the same time frame. Coming in a close second was the Sharon region where 31% of readers said they found time to read three or more books a month, followed by Tel Aviv, at a distant third with 26% of residents saying they were certifiable book worms. "Not by chance is Jerusalem a city of wisdom, with a highly intelligent population showing themselves to truly be people of the book," Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski said in response to the survey's findings. According to the survey, Jerusalemites on average buy 9.7 books for themselves over the course of a year, a full point above the national average (8.5). 73% of those quizzed nationally said they had purchased books as gifts for loved ones during the last year. The survey found 41% of Israeli readers prefer romance novels, while 28% said they enjoyed suspense, and 14% chose self-help and instructional books. Only two percent said they loved poetry the most. Jerusalem's International Book Fair has been held every two years since 1963 and has consistently drawn tens of thousands of visitors who come to browse the extensive selection and to bump elbows with some 800 authors representing 40 different countries, the municipality said in a statement