Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Society

Chinese people read more last year, poll finds

By Yang Yang and Li Yingqing in Kunming | | Updated: 2024-04-23 22:31
Share - WeChat
Students recite The Analects of Confucius, a collection of ideas and sayings from the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC), at a primary school in Wuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Tuesday, which was World Book and Copyright Day. HE HUAWEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Chinese people read more last year than in 2022, according to a survey report released at the Third National Conference on Reading in Kunming, Yunnan province, on Tuesday, which was World Book and Copyright Day.

The 21st annual survey conducted by the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Press and Publication polled 1.58 million respondents in 173 cities in 31 provincial regions. Adults accounted for three-quarters of respondents, and about a fifth were from rural areas.

The report showed that people tended to read more via a variety of media last year.

It said 81.9 percent of those surveyed read via a variety of media, 0.1 of a percentage point higher than in 2022. Adults read for an average of just under 23 minutes and 23 seconds a day last year, 15 seconds more than in 2022.

While 59.8 percent of grown-ups read books in 2023, the same as in 2022, readers of newspapers and magazines declined, by 0.4 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively.

More people read via digital media, with 80.3 percent of respondents reading on digital devices including computers, mobile phones, e-book readers and tablet computers, an increase of 0.2 percentage point compared with 2022.

As the growth in reading digital books continued, people read fewer paper books.

In 2023, Chinese adults read an average of 4.75 paper books and 3.40 electronic books. In comparison, the figures in 2022 were 4.78 and 3.33, respectively.

The survey also found that as people in China spent more time on mobile phones, increasing from 105.23 minutes in 2022 to 106.52 minutes in 2023, more people read on mobile phones.

In 2023, 78.3 percent of adults read on mobile phones, compared with 77.8 percent in 2022, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, about 70.6 percent of adults read on computers, down from 71.5 percent in 2022. The proportion of people reading on e-book readers also declined from 26.8 percent in 2022 to 25.3 percent in 2023, but those using tablet computers to read grew from 21.3 percent in 2022 to 22.5 percent.

Besides, audio and video books became increasingly popular among adults in 2023.

The survey showed that 36.3 percent of adults listened to audio books and 4.4 percent watched video books. In the surveyed group of those under 18, 33.1 percent said that they listened to audio books as a way of reading. They on average read 11.39 books, up from 11.14 in 2022.

Apart from the annual reading report, the three-day event will encompass discussions exploring the interplay between reading and various societal dimensions, including urban development and ecological civilization.

At the main forum of the conference on Tuesday, Mo Lifeng, a professor of Chinese language and literature at Nanjing University, talked about the importance of reading classics in shaping the national spirit and rejuvenating the Chinese nation.

He gave the example of Wen Tianxiang, a statesman, poet and national hero from the Southern Song period (1127-1279), who read in prison poems by Du Fu from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Wen was inspired by the national integrity dating back to Chinese classical works like The Analects of Confucius, which supported him in face of the death threats from the new court after the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) took control of the country.

"To date, I have always believed that the major value of the Chinese classics passed on after thousands of years is not for scholars to research, but for the whole of society to read and gain spiritual nutrition from," he said.

"I sincerely hope that with this conference, we can introduce our classics to all people across society."

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349