Report shows varied Chinese residents' reading habits

Updated 2018-04-23 13:50:01

Who doesn't love a good book?

In light of World Book Day (April 23), Amazon China, one of the largest online booksellers, released its 2018 Reading Report on April 20, showing the country's continued interest in reading and new trends among Chinese readers.

Based on 14,000 surveys and company data, Amazon reports that 48 percent of those surveyed read more than 10 books last year, continuing a trend found in previous years.

China's reading habits

Like the printing press, technological blessings like the Internet, smartboards, tablets and e-readers are once more reshaping our reading and learning habits entirely. More and more Chinese are beginning to use e-readers.

In 2017, this number reached 378 million; a white paper showed early this month.

According to the survey, 19 percent Chinese mainly read e-books in the past year, surpassing the 12 percent people who read in print.

Post-90's generations are increasingly open to paying for good content. More and more Chinese are beginning to accept e-readers such as the Kindle. More than half of those surveyed said they read both paper books and e-books last year.

People who read only e-books accounted for 19 percent, a rise from 2017's four percent.

Why do they read?

According to the report, many Chinese consider reading a meaningful way to acquire knowledge or experience.

As many as 63 percent of the survey participants believe that reading is necessary for life. Those who think reading is not important make up less than one percent of the total.

The survey examining the impact of reading on one's life shows that over 80 percent of participants think that reading can "make spiritual life richer". Those who think that reading can help them "stay away from anxiety" and "help increase job skills" accounted for nearly 70 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

China's most popular books: Digital vs Print

The following are the most popular types of books – paper or electronic – for the first quarter of 2018.

Literature and novels are the most popular, followed by financial management and social sciences. Within the last category, history is the most popular social science topic.

Reading habits vary depending on gender, age and education. Between the two sexes, women tend to read more mystery novels and self-inspirational books, while men prefer to read more historical biographies, humanities and social science and sci-fi.

Which country reads the most?

Readers in India spend the most time reading, at an average of 10.7 hours per week, followed by bookworms in Thailand and China (at 9.4 hours and 8 hours per week respectively). At 3.1 and 4.1 hours respectively, individuals in Korea, Japan fall to the bottom of the reading list, NOP World Culture Score Index shows.

The World Book and Copyright Day (April 23), an annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

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