Follow Us:

Vox Pop: Why children don’t read

Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, has been designated “World Book Capital 2013” in recognition of its programme to promote reading among young people and underprivileged sections of the population.


On the occasion of the World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April and the official handover ceremony of World Book Capital from Yerevan (Armenia), the World Book Capital 2012, to Bangkok, UNESCO asked six young Thais why books are not popular among some children and how reading books can be more enjoyable.  

Nattanan Khajornsiripaisarn, 8
“Easy books should be introduced to children who are not good at reading.


Punjapat Limpapath, 10

“I like reading science cartoon books. It’s fun and educational. If I’m going to introduce a book to other children, I’ll choose a book with  many pictures and short texts.”


Patt Kaewsawang, 9
“Children don’t like reading because books don’t have nice illustrations. I’d like a library to have a point collection system: Children receive a book as a gift after earning a certain number of points accumulated by borrowing books at the library.  


Akaradej Sawetsila, 16
“I found reading boring and prefer to watch TV, for my entertainment and education.  Science programmes and documentaries on TV are more exciting and easier to understand  than  science books. To get children to read, adults should find out about children’s interests.  For example, you can ask your child what he/she would like to do in the future, share books about the particular career and encourage the child to find more interesting information in other publications.


Pareploy Pralak, 15

“Parents should set the example for their children. In my family, I’ve seen my parents read since I was a small child and this has developed my love of reading. My father reads books about business and management while my mother reads about motivational  speaking because she works in an insurance company. In my opinion, she is a great speaker. I’d like to be like both  my father and my mother. Now, I start to take their books for my reading.”


Chatchaya Thepsena, 11
“Books should combine fun and knowledge. To get children to read and enjoy reading, adults should offer a wide variety of  books so that children can choose the books they are most interested in and then start from there.”


The six students are from Sarasas Witaed Rachaphruek in Nonthaburi, Thailand

By Rojana Manowalailao, UNESCO Bangkok

The city of Bangkok was selected by the World Book Capital selection committee at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris on 27 June 2011.

The Committee selected Bangkok “for its willingness to bring together all the various stakeholders in the book supply chain and beyond, actors involved in the publication chain for a range of projects proposed, for its community-focused and the high level of its commitment through the proposed activities.”

The World Book Capital selection committee includes representatives from the International Publishers Associations (IPA-UIE), the International Booksellers Federation (IBF), the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and UNESCO.

Each year this Committee attributes the title to a city which has committed itself to promote books and reading, and to highlight the vitality of literary creativity. The nomination does not imply any financial prize, but an exclusively symbolic acknowledgement of the best programme dedicated to books and reading.

Bangkok is the 13th World Book Capital following Madrid (Spain, 2001), Alexandria (Egypt, 2002), New Delhi (India, 2003), Antwerp (Belgium, 2004), Montreal (Canada, 2005), Turin (Italy, 2006), Bogota (Colombia, 2007), Amsterdam (The Netherlands, 2008), Beirut (Lebanon, 2009), Ljubljana (Slovenia, 2010), Buenos Aires (Argentina, 2011) and Yerevan (Armenia, 2012).