Only 5 percent in China have ‘habit of reading books’: report

Some in China have proclaimed that the country has a “reading crisis” (yuèdú wēijī / 阅读危机).

Only 5 percent of the 1.3 billion Chinese population has a habit of reading books, according to a report released by the China Publishing Research Institute in 2005.

Xi [Shu, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a board chairman of a publishing company based in Beijing,] argued frequent use of the Internet can lead to people’s easy satisfaction with a smattering of knowledge without deep thinking.

I haven’t been able to find the original of the 2005 report, so I don’t know how “habit” is defined, or even “books.” (What percent of those with the “habit,” for example, read primarily comic books?) And are students excluded? Regardless, it doesn’t sound good.


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