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Time to read even the fine print

By Xiao Lixin | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-26 08:17

Traveling in China, I found many massage parlors in the streets but few bookstores. The average time a person in China spends reading a book is 15 minutes a day, one-tenth of that spent by an average Japanese.

Above is a quotation from Japanese author Ohmae Kenichi's book, Low-Intelligence Society. His summary of Chinese people's reading habits was corroborated by the 10th National Reading Survey released last week. More than half of the respondents to the survey admitted that they read very little. Statistics show that an average Chinese reads only 4.39 printed books a year, even though the national reading rate increased by 1 percentage point in 2012. Whereas people in the Republic of Korea and Japan read an average of 11 and 40 books a year.

Public zeal for reading should have risen in this age of knowledge explosion but the scene today is worse than the 1980s, and it's frustrating to read that half the Chinese population has quit reading.

Time to read even the fine print

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