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December 15, 2009

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'No time' for books, but lots for surfing

ONLY 14 percent of Shanghai professionals would devote their spare time to reading books, a sharp contrast to the 60 percent who would surf the Internet, according to a survey released by the Youth League yesterday.

Most of the 400 participants in the questionnaire recognized the importance of reading books, though they failed to act on it for various reasons.

More than 92 percent of the white-collar workers agreed that reading books is vital to improving their knowledge.

But 44 percent said they were not accustomed to reading books, and 35 percent said they had no idea what to read because of the absence of authoritative recommendations in the country.

Meanwhile, 57 percent of white collars said they had little time for reading books because of their heavy work schedule.

"After a long and exhausting day of working, the last thing I want to do is read books," said Hu Yu, an employee of a foreign trade company. "Internet surfing can help me relax."

The Youth League plans to kick off a campaign on Friday to promote the habit of reading classics.

Wu Zhaolou, a professor at Fudan University's Department of Chinese Language and Literature, said that while people can read classics on the web, "traditional reading can spur in-depth thoughts and online reading turns out to be superficial."

Wu said people tend to be distracted by the rich information online and may also be misled by mistakes in online materials.


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