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Do Chinese still read late at night nowadays?

04-26-2012 09:36 BJT

On the occasion of the World Book Day on April 23, China Press and Publication Institute announced the results of the Ninth National Reading Survey: nearly 60 percent of Chinese people said that they do not read too much. The popular advertising slogan that “book is not for reading but for collection" seems to have become a true portrayal of the reading nowadays.

Although there are many reasons for the decreased ratio of the number of people to read, it is certainly not a good thing for a country that most people do not want to read because people should not give up their desire for the knowledge and civilization and lose the ability of learning and thinking at any time. It is not only related to personal accomplishment and ability but also the improvement of the quality of a nation as a whole. In the eyes of the author, there are three major problems in people's reading life.

First, people do not read. The most noteworthy phenomenon is the light reading and fast reading. The shallow reading certainly will miss some nourishing contents. As a result, many children depend on the pictures and lose the interest in reading, which lead to sharply dropped ability of using words.

Second, there are no books worth reading. Although the number and sales of books published in China in recent years are increasing year by year, there are too many low-end and mediocre books due to low publishing threshold and the phenomenon of oversupply. For example, how many books worthy of being read among the so-called youth literature books? The strange phenomenon of "prosperous youth literature" is caused by the driving of benefits. Many books are the bubbles from the publishing houses and have low quality.

Third, people are too poor to read. The prices of books now are almost as high as that of drugs. The prices scared the cash-strapped people away and so the shoddy and pirated books are everywhere. Our nation emphasizes on developing itself through science and education but lacks of material and political supports. Many libraries operate cheerlessly in small and medium-sized cities. The books in the libraries are mostly old because people cannot afford to buy new books. It is amazing that such a thing happens in China which always value reading.

To read or not to read is a personal choice, but it relates to the quality of the whole nation. Therefore, we should strengthen the reading awareness of people and the government should also adjust book market and publish more low-cost but high-quality books to facilitate people. Only in this way, can we constantly improve both people's economic life and cultural quality. In a sense, the latter is more important because it can provide intellectual support for the former.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: People's Daily

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