Annual book fair in capital attracts avid readers

By DU JUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-21 07:22
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The Beijing Book Fair, which ran for 11 days in May, attracted many young readers. Photo provided to China Daily

Improved climate

According to a report on reading habits conducted by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication last year, people have been reading more physical books in recent years.

Wei Yushan, head of the academy, said: "The reading climate has been improving nationwide. The number of public reading facilities, including libraries, community book houses and bookstores, is growing."

He said new technologies such as digital reading platforms do not mean that traditional forms of reading are disappearing. "The pursuit of knowledge has not changed," Wei added.

The introduction of policies by the Beijing municipal government to support physical bookstores has led to an improved reading rate in the capital.

In 2017 and 2018, Chinese read 4.66 physical books per person on average, while those living in Beijing read 11.74 such books, according to a survey conducted by the municipal government, agencies and industry experts.

People in the capital read physical books for 28.51 minutes a day on average and digital books for 90.95 minutes a day.

As George R.R. Martin, the United States novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and television producer, said: "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies … The man who never reads lives only one."

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