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January 28, 2014

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Chauffeur named top borrower of books from Shanghai Library

A CHAUFFEUR who has been named the top borrower of books from the Shanghai Library for two years in a row said he reads voraciously to kill time when waiting for his boss.

Li Guanghua, 35, borrowed 2,846 books last year. That works out to an average of eight books a day.

He was also named the reading champion of 2012 during which he borrowed 3,134 books, library officials said.

Li said he reads fast and had time to read the books because he is required to wait in the car for his boss for a long time. He usually visits two library branches a day.

“Nowadays, more and more people read e-books on iPad, but I still prefer to read paper books,” Li told Youth Daily.

According to the Youth Daily report, Li became a taxi driver after graduating from middle school. He worked every other day so that he could spend much more time on reading.

After he became a chauffeur for a private company boss, he had far more time because he needed to wait when the boss was out for business deals or playing golf.

Martial Arts fiction, history, military, and automobile-related books are Li’s favorites.

His favorite writers are Hong Kong author Jin Yong and Taiwan author Gu Long, both specializing in martial arts writings.

Li said this is because he had a hero complex of the classic martial arts fiction.

Li borrowed automobile magazines to learn car maintenance, which made him a car expert and won the confidence of his boss.

He said he used to have a bad temper but reading changed that and made him calm and mature.

Li’s passion for reading  rubbed on his father who also started to frequent the library.

Li is now grooming his son, a preschooler, to form a reading habit, which he thinks is better than playing games on iPad.

Shanghai Library said in general, the most borrowed books for the year were literature, medicine and health books.

Popular books include the Chinese version of the biography “Steve Jobs,” “A Bite of China” and books that teach seniors how to remain healthy.

The library has 1.92 million readers with valid library cards. From Friday, it will allow readers to borrow up to 10 books at a time, up from four books, to satisfy more bookworms.



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