E-books challenge traditional reading: Chinese survey

Beijing, April 24 (IANS) With the fast development of e-books, mobile phones and tablets, traditional books are facing challenges, reported Xinhua citing a survey.

According to the survey, Chinese people read 4.39 books, 77.20 newspapers, 6.56 magazines and 2.35 e-books on average last year. The latter increased by 65.5 percent year on year.

The number of people who read books has also increased, but fewer read newspapers and magazines last year, said the survey, conducted by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication.

It polled 18,619 people in 28 provincial-level regions. Some 31.3 percent were juveniles and 26 percent rural residents.

Only 1.3 percent of those surveyed said they read a lot, and more than 50 percent felt that they had not read enough books.

The survey also showed that people, between the age of 18 to 70, spent 15.38 minutes on reading books on average every day, 98.85 on TV, and 46.77 minutes on the Internet.

Moreover, 31.2 percent people spent at least 40 minutes reading on mobile phones every day, 13 percent more than that in 2011, with content mainly related to entertainment.

However, a large group of people still like to read paperbacks.

The survey said that the number of paperbacks that Chinese people read has risen for seven consecutive years.

However, it is still much lower than that of other countries. South Koreans, for example, read an average of 11 books per year, French 8.4 books, Americans 7.0 books, and Japanese 8.5 books, said Wu Shulin, deputy director of the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

China is also mulling a regulation on national reading, and related industries and markets will be protected by laws, Wu added.

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