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Chinese adults read more books, fewer papers

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Reading books is becoming increasingly popular among Chinese adult, but newspapers and magazines are falling out of favor, according to survey results released on Monday.

Polling 40,600 adults in 29 provincial-level regions, an annual survey on reading habits found that they read 4.77 paper books and 2.48 digital ones in a year, up 0.38 and 0.13 respectively.

The survey, conducted from September by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, revealed that some 50.1 percent of Chinese adults read digitally, up 9.8 percentage points from last year and the first time this figure has topped 50 percent.

Meanwhile, they read 70.85 newspapers and 5.51 magazines a year, respectively down 6.35 and 1.05 year on year.

"Despite occasional dips, Chinese people in general have been reading more in recent years," said Xu Shengguo, a senior researcher with the academy.

Xu attributed the phenomenon to increasing awareness of self-improvement through reading and soaring cultural demands driven by social and economic development.

Supporting this view, 70.5 percent of respondents opine that reading is "very" or "relatively" crucial to their living and development, but more than half think they haven't read enough -- mainly due to busy work schedules, lack of a reading habits and a dislike of reading.

"Still, we have to admit that our reading volume is far less than in countries such as France, Japan and the Republic of Korea," Xu said.

Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of digital readers said they wouldn't buy what they have read digitally in paper format -- a figure that has been climbing for four consecutive years and which, the researchers suggest, marks a graver challenge to the paper book market.

(To stay up to date with the latest China news, follow XHNews on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XHNews and Xinhua News Agency on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/XinhuaNewsAgency.)

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