Organized by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, the 11th National Reading Survey was released in Beijing on April 21, 2014. According to this annual survey of reading habits, Chinese people read 4.77 paper books in 2013, an increase of 0.38 compared with the previous year. Over half of Chinese adults opt for digital reading, and read 2.48 digital books in the year. More than 50 percent of Chinese adults stated that they read only a little.
The survey's statistics show that in 2012 Chinese people read 77.20 copies of newspapers and 6.56 copies of journals, respective drops of 6.56 and 1.05 compared with 2013.
Xu Shengguo, a senior researcher with the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, observed that "Despite occasional dips, Chinese people in general have been reading more in recent years." Xu attributed the phenomenon to an increasing awareness of the importance of self-improvement through reading, and a soaring demand for culture driven by social and economic development.
"But we have to admit that we read far less than countries such as France, Japan and the Republic of Korea," added Xu.
According to the statistics, it is the younger and mid-aged groups who read digitally. Wei Yushan, director of the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, said that more than 90 percent of Chinese readers will not purchase paper books if they have a digital option available.
Only 38.7 percent of digital readers are willing to pay for downloads; this number has decreased by 1.4 percent compared with 2012. Xu Shengguo attributed the decline to Chinese people having become accustomed over a long period to free reading, and to the emergence of WeChat and reading Apps.
The article is edited and translated from 《中国去年人均读书4.77本 与法、日、韩等国有差距》, source: Guangzhou Daily.