China’s kids have a huge ap­petite for read­ing, sur­vey shows

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHANG KUN in Shang­hai

zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A new sur­vey about the read­ing be­hav­ior of young peo­ple in China was re­cently re­leased at the third edi­tion of the China Chil­dren’s Book Fair (CCBF).

Among the find­ings is the fact that peo­ple in China aged be­low 17 read much more than adults — since 2010, China’s ado­les­cents aged be­tween 14 and 17 read an av­er­age of 9.5 to 13.5 books ev­ery year, ex­clud­ing text­books, while chil­dren be­tween the ages of nine and 13 read six to nine books a year.

The sur­vey also re­vealed that, though the “read­ing taste” of China’s young peo­ple can still be im­proved, China’s pub­lish­ing sec­tor for young read­ers have grown by 10 per­cent ev­ery year in the past decade.

Thanks to the in­creased cul­tural ex­changes be­tween the East and West, out­stand­ing new pub­li­ca­tions for chil­dren have been trans­lated and pub­lished in China within a short time, while a grow­ing group of au­thors in chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture is steadily be­ing formed in China and is win­ning recog­ni­tion from young read­ers.

While The Ber­estain Bears, a se­ries of chil­dren’s books cre­ated by Amer­i­can au­thors and il­lus­tra­tors Stan and Jan Beren­stain, is among the most pop­u­lar books for Chi­nese chil­dren in the past year, China’s own au­thors such as Zheng Yuan­jie, Yang Hongying and Qin Wen­jun have been quickly ris­ing the ranks. Oth­ers such as the Chi­nese au­thor only known by his pen name Leon Im­age, have achieved great suc­cess with his se­ries of orig­i­nal ad­ven­ture books fea­tur­ing a child de­tec­tive and a dog named “Char­lie IX”.

The sur­vey also in­di­cated that be­tween 3 to 8 mil­lion chil­dren will be born ev­ery year now that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has de­cided to al­low all cou­ples to bear two chil­dren, and this in turn trans­lates to “a larger con­sumers mar­ket” for chil­dren’s books.

In this dig­i­tal age, chil­dren’s read­ing plat­forms have ex­panded to in­clude au­dio books as well, and start-up web com­pa­nies such as iDaddy.cn are steadily draw­ing paid users. Ac­cord­ing to iDaddy.cn, the de­mand for sto­ries in English has con­tin­ued to grow, and this has en­cour­aged the com­pany to “make big steps” in buy­ing more con­tent from abroad, said Lu Ying, the mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor of the com­pany.

Peo­ple aged be­low 17 read much more than adults. Since 2010, China’s ado­les­cents aged be­tween 14 and 17 read an av­er­age of 9.5 to 13.5 books ev­ery year, while chil­dren be­tween the ages of nine and 13 read six to nine books a year.” Sur­vey re­sults on how much Chi­nese chil­dren read

PHO­TOS BY GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

The de­mand for chil­dren's books will con­tinue to grow now that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has de­cided to al­low all cou­ples to have two chil­dren.

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