Adult Shenzheners read an average of 7.23 print books in 2018, more than doubling the national average of 2.56 books, according to the 16th annual national reading survey by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication.
The survey, released Tuesday just ahead of World Book Day, said a Shenzhen resident read an average 11.21 digital books last year, far exceeding the country’s average of 3.32 books and ranking first in the national city residents reading index.
According to the survey, Shenzhen ranked first among cities in the country regarding the city reading index and city public reading service index, in addition to the city residents reading index.
Shenzhen was the very first city in the country to launch citywide reading activities that had wide influence and satisfactory results, the survey said.
This is the first time that the report has included a list regarding a city reading index, according to sznews.com.
Shenzhen has 638 public libraries and 173 physical book stores so far, and holds nearly 20,000 reading activities each year.
In response to the country’s move to promote a learning society, Shenzhen has adopted several strategies to enhance cultural development. For example, it has sped up the construction of libraries across the city and created cultural brands like Shenzhen Reading Month.
Concepts that embody the charms of a reading habit have been spread widely across the city. Moreover, Shenzhen has been awarded as a global model city by UNESCO for promoting reading citywide.
Last year’s national reading index was 68.87. Chinese adults read an average of 4.67 print books and 3.32 digital books last year, an uptick compared to the previous year, according to the report.
Wei Yushan, director of the academy, said that the survey mainly shows growth in digital reading, as demand for print books remains stable. “We also find a sharp rise in audio books, almost one-third of the Chinese population has the habit of listening to audio books.”
Reading from mobile phones has become the favorite way to read and get information. Adult Chinese on average spent almost 85 minutes a day on their mobile phones, four more minutes compared to in 2017, the China Daily reported.
Shenzhen will organize 540 activities for this year’s World Book Day.