We are about to say goodbye to 2020, a tumultuous year full of changes and uncertainties. Earlier this year, many countries including Singapore experienced a lockdown to fight the critical COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the lockdown in Singapore which has affected many businesses, families and friends who are temporarily separated, I am glad that advanced communication technology has brought everyone together virtually online.
As the nation grapples with an ongoing pandemic, reading has been an escape from the present to disconnect from current worries. Data from Toronto-based digital reading company Rakuten Kobo provides a snapshot of what and how Kobo users in Singapore read.
According to Rakuten Kobo’s data, Singaporeans spent at least 10,409 days reading this year – which is the equivalent of 28 years. This is an increase of 8 years more time spent reading compared to 2019. Additionally, with readers spending more time at home, they also clocked 270% more reading minutes this year as compared to 2019. While familiar genres like romance and nonfiction remain mainstays, books focused on kids are rising in popularity. Despite being known as busy individuals (ranked 32 out of 40 for work-life balance in 2019), Singaporeans are still able to allocate time for reading first thing in the morning at 7.00am and before bed at 12:00am, the first and second most popular times of day for reading respectively.
Reading proves to be a form of therapeutic escape during lockdown
The month of May saw Singaporeans spending the most time reading, as seen from a 17% spike in reading minutes as compared to the next highest month, April. This is driven by the increased time spent at home during the two months of “Circuit Breaker” measures put in place by the government from 7 April to 1 June. Families found themselves having to adapt to remote work, and many picked up reading – which provided not only education and entertainment but also comfort during this especially challenging time. Despite having the flexibility to maintain a better work-life balance as the workforce transitions into a new normal, most Singaporeans choose to read on Saturdays, during the weekends where it is likely easier to fully ‘switch off’ from work.
Singapore’s top bestselling eBooks of 2020
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas
- Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
Rakuten Kobo Nia Review:
Reading books at home is one of my favourite daily activities ever since Singapore introduces the ‘circuit breaker’ earlier in April this year. Well, to level up my reading experience this festive season, I decided to switch to digital reading! Thanks to my friend who recommended me the Rakuten Kobo Nia. It is a glare-free 6-inch e-Reader device that comes with 8GB of internal storage and able to carry up to 6,000 eBooks.
The portable Rakuten Kobo Nia also built-in with ComfortLight adjustable brightness which allows me to read my favourite eBooks comfortably in day and night time. Likewise, one of the highlights was the extra-long battery life. For every single battery charged, you can enjoy reading for up to 1 week. Furthermore, the e-Reader is compatible with OverDrive which allows access to eBooks from Singapore’s National Library Board (NLB).
Product and specification:
- Colour: Black
- MSRPs: $129.99 (CAD); $99.99 (USD); €99.99 (EUR); £89.99 (GBP); $149 (AUD)
- Display: 6” Carta E Ink touchscreen
- Resolution: 1024 x 758 resolution (212 ppi)
- Device size: 112.4 x 159.3 x 9.2 mm
- Weight: 172g
- Processor: NXP i.MX 6ULL
- Manufacturer: Netronix
Pricing and Availability
Rakuten Kobo Nia e-Reader is pricing at $149 and is available at their official Rakuten Kobo online store, and Lazada and Shopee. Elevate your digital reading experience with Rakuten Kobo’s e-Reader device today!