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Mo Yan's Nobel prize boosts thirst for literature

Updated: 2012-12-06 13:57

The books of Mo Yan, the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Literature Prize, have become best-sellers both home and abroad, giving impetus to the nation's thirst for reading literature.

As news of Mo's award on Thursday night spread, readers swarmed into shops early Friday morning for Mo's books, including the Beijing Books Building and the Wangfujing Branch of Xinhua Bookstore, two major bookstores in downtown Beijing.

"His most popular masterpieces, such as "Red Sorghum" and "Frog" had all sold out," said Ge Fei, deputy general manager of the Wangfujing Branch of Xinhua Bookstore.

The bookstore used to sell, on average, ten books of Mo's a day. On Thursday alone, it sold more than 80 books as readers came to buy them after the news. Publishing houses have no extra copies of Mo's books and are printing more copies.

The Swedish Academy announced in Stockholm on Thursday that Mo would receive the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first Chinese national to win the award. Mo Yan, a pseudonym for Guan Moye, was born in 1955 and grew up in Gaomi in east China's Shandong Province.

"Mo's victory of the Nobel prize is encouragement to the Chinese literature field and an inspiration to readers," said a high middle school teacher surnamed Lv. She loved literature but read little about Mo's books before.

Related: Author Mo Yan earns praise for historical perspectives

"As a litterateur, Mo's prize will make Chinese readers pay more attention to purely literature books and the hearts and souls of mankind," said Lv, who is in her 40s, at Beijing Books Building.

Reading has become almost a luxury for many young Chinese people, who have been struggling to earn livelihoods in booming cities and do not have enough time to read a book.

In subways or buses in Chinese cities, few passengers are seen reading a book. Many play games on their mobile phones or read popular or commercial books. This is in contrast to what happens in western countries where passengers are seen reading books on subways. Many young Chinese people also like to read electronic books on the Internet.

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