China faces a reading crisis

By Xu Jing ( ) Updated: 2015-09-21 15:58:05

China faces a reading crisis

University students attend the training session on reading. [Photo/]

China is facing a reading crisis, with more than 50 percent of people surveyed believing their reading is far from enough, and only 20 percent satisfied with themselves.

According to Xu Shengguo, head of the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, the country's reading rate last year was 78.6 percent which means that percentage read books, periodicals, newspapers or were involved in online reading. While 21.4 percent read nothing at all.

Xu said the academy launched an annual survey on the reading quantity of Chinese people in 2005, and found that each read 4.5 to 4.7 books on average per year between 2005 and 2014.

Last year Chinese people read only 4.56 books, compared with 12 in France, 11 in South Korea, nine in Japan and about seven in the US. In addition, more than 40 percent of Chinese people read less than one book throughout the year outside of text books.

Sponsored by Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, a training session on reading was held in Beijing on Saturday. It was the first meeting of the "Leading Reader" project, a training series for teachers, officials, college students and bookstore owners on the promotion of nationwide reading. It will be held on weekends during September and October.

Some 150 college students attended the session and heard lectures by Xu, Wang Yijun, director of Department of Public Service in Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, and Lin Dan, originator of Your Bay Parent-child Picture Book Center.

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