Reading on rise for CPC members

Updated: 2015-04-24 07:09


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Reading on rise for CPC members

A resident is absorbed in reading at the Yayuncun Books Building in Beijing on Thursday, which was World Book Day.[FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY]

Time spent with literature grows as social activities takea back seat to new habits

As World Book Day arrived on Thursday, reading events bloomed nationwide as the government encouraged a love of literature among the public.

And surveys show that Party and government groups are taking the lead.

Jiangsu province launched a four-day reading festival in Nanjing on Thursday during which scholars gave lectures, and a team of volunteers was created to read books aloud to the visually impaired.

The government also plans to turn the city's Xuanwu Lake Park into a readers' paradise by building a library and a book cafe for lectures and book fairs.

"Chinese people love reading. It is a tradition that goes back thousands of years," said Sun Shoushan, deputy director of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, at the launch of the 5th Beijing Reading Season on Saturday. "The government puts great emphasis on encouraging a love of reading among people and has included a policy to promote reading in the government's work report since 2014."

It's no easy task to promote reading across the country. Leisure time is decreasing in an increasingly fast-paced life. The average daily leisure time for Chinese people was 2.55 hours in 2014, less than half that in developed countries, according to a survey by China Central Television of 100,000 sample households.

Only one-tenth of daily leisure time-about 15 minutes-was spent reading, while one-third was spent on the Internet and one-sixth on TV, the survey showed.

Party members are required to set an example of valuing reading, and recent surveys show they devote more of their leisure time to it.

Among nearly 5,000 participants in a poll on last year, 79 percent of the polled Party members said they like reading, while 28 percent admitted reading less than five hours per week.

Compared with a survey by People's Tribune magazine in 2009, Party members are doing more reading. Half of the participants in the 2014 survey said they read 10 books or more in a year, a growth of more than 10 percentage points over 2009.

Moreover, Party members experience less disruption of their reading by social activities of late, as the Party has advocated a thrifty lifestyle and cracks down on extravagance and abuse of public funds.

In the 2009 survey, 22 percent of Party members polled said they were too busy attending social activities to read, while only 13 percent in the 2014 survey blamed social activities for holding them back.

"Besides participating in a reading club, I spend about eight hours every day reading," said Xu Bo, director of Jiangsu Local Taxation Bureau.

To help Party members develop a habit of reading, the Work Committee of the Jiangsu Party Committee organized after-work reading clubs, where participants engage in group discussions.

The Work Committee conducted a survey of more than 3,200 Party members in the province last year, and 52 percent of those polled welcomed such events.

"I spend more time on reading than before, about 14 hours a week now, " said Xu Shipei, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of the Jiangsu Provincial Commission of Economy and Information Technology. "What I learn from reading has helped me improve my work."

Wang Yanfei contributed to this story.

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