Confirmed: Latvia a nation of readers

Latvia is the 9th most literate nation in the world according to the Central Connecticut State University World’s Most Literate Nations top, lending credence to the notion that Latvia is a nation of readers.

The top measures not reading ability but rather the population's literate behaviors and their supporting resources.

The first five places are taken by the Scandinavian countries - Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden.

Latvia ranked second in the 'Libraries' category of the rating for its sheer number of libraries and the number of volumes inside.

Latvia also did well in the 'Newspapers' section as apparently Latvians haven't lost the taste for print media and the online versions thereof.

However the country fared worse in terms of its education system and the percentage of households with a computer.

Estonia took 14th place, and Lithuania ranked 31st. 

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Dace Pedecis
When we were refugees in a Displace Persons camp in Germany, there was little money for food and clothes. But we had books anyway. I still have books that were published in DP camps that my parents bought for me. When we emigrated to the U.S. we could bring many possessions with us, but books came along. Even during years of struggle in a new country my folks bought books. I visited Latvia during the Soviet era. Books were among my souvenirs. I had to get permission to "export" them. My uncle took me to bookstores where the walls were lined with books. Unlike here, you couldn't sit on the floor to look at them. I don't know of any Latvian homes without books. Perhaps people consider it rude to read on public transport. The manners I observed there were quite different in many ways. For instance, people don't eat while walking down the street. So, unless you know the reason people don't read in public, you can't really judge. Perhaps they get motion sickness.
I hardly see anything like that from my years of living in Latvia. And being a bibliophile, The bookstores hardly have great books in display; you rarely see passengers buried into books in public transports; or rarely did I meet anyone who speaks volumes about books (the last one, admittedly, says nothing). These are tell-tale signs of mature reading habits of mass. Contrary to that - music, design and photography is much mature. Books and reading? No, sorry.
Feliks Gailitis Gailitis
Why does the Latvian education system get lower marks? As for households without computers, is it because of the expense or because people are reluctant to have it at home so it won't take over from other home activities?
As for computers I'd guess it's economic. For example I recently met someone who was planning to take a loan to buy a basic computer. When taking home 300 euro a month a few hundred on a computer is a huge amount, not to mention the cost of Internet service. As for the education system, it seems to be based on memorizing facts and passing the state test rather than critical thinking skills.
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