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World Book Day marks changes in China's reading habits

By Morag Hobbs (People's Daily Online)    14:42, April 23, 2018

People read books at a 24-hour library in Rongcheng City, east China's Shandong Province, April 22, 2018.  (Xinhua/Wang Fudong)

World Book Day is celebrated on April 23 every year, and today marks the 13th World Book Day since UNESCO launched the event in 1995. The aim of the day is to highlight authors and reading material and generally boost enthusiasm in reading among the younger generation. Due to copyright being a huge issue when it comes to writing, there is often a focus on this issue during World Book Day - it's for this reason that WBD is known as the World Book and Copyright Day in some countries.

Copyright has previously been an issue in China, however recent statistics published by Amazon China have seen a dramatic change in reading material as well as a rise in people paying for written content in the country. The 2018 Amazon China Reading Report was released last Wednesday, and showed that people have a growing appreciation for intellectual property, as around 80% of people surveyed paid for e-reading material in the last year.

The rise of both Kindles and E-books in the country have made reading more accessible and is in keeping with the growth of electronic products. The figures published by indicate that those born after 1990 read more often on their electronic devices, and more than 80% now pay for their reading material.

Thanks to the rise in E-books, reading has become more of a lifestyle choice for many Chinese. 55% of those asked used a variety of E-books as well as printed material and this had spurred a new found love for bookstores in China. Over 85% of those surveyed had made a special effort to visit a book store in the last year.

And if you're wondering which parts of the country are the most well read, it turns out that Hefei and Zhengzhou occupied the first and second spot in 2017 for the most books read per person, a title both cities also won in 2016.

So what books are the most popular in China? Amazon released it's top selling book lists for 2017, separated into paper and e-book categories. The top three for paper books were:

Miracles of the Namiya General Store by Japanese author Keigo Higashino

We Three by Chinese writer Yang Jiang

Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin

For E-books, the top places went to:

The Three-Body trilogy by Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin

Miracles of the Namiya General Store by Keigo Higshino

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by British author Arthur Conan Doyle.

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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