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Chinese to be encouraged to settle down with a good book

CHINA is planning a series of activities from later this month to October to promote book reading, especially among children, young people, women and rural residents.

The activities include book discounts, prize contests for book reports, the opening of new libraries in rural areas and urban communities, and book donations to disaster-hit and poverty-stricken areas.

Statistics showed that the country's book purchase and reading rates declined in recent years. In 2008, the book buying rate was 1.75 books per family and the reading rate was 34.7 percent, 14 percent lower than the figure for 2005, according to a national survey by the China Institute of Publication Science.

The survey revealed that about half of the people said they did not read because they did not have time, while 43 percent said they were not in the habit of reading.

One of the key activities will be "reading with your children" scheme for parents across the country on April 23.

On that day, Xinhua book stores will offer discounts on books and extend their opening hours. Adverts about the activity will be broadcast on TV and in other media, and will be sent as text messages to mobile phone users.

The central government is to launch a prize contest for book reports to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China among employees of its departments and organizations. The government will also set up new libraries in rural areas, enterprises and urban communities and in the military to encourage people to read more books.

This month a book list containing more than 100 outstanding books will be promoted among young people and children, with national activities featuring the theme "growing in reading," which will last for a year.

Women will be encouraged to enjoy book reading and contribute in building a study-oriented society, and help their children to develop reading habit. The organizations of the Communist Youth League are to help promote reading among children and young people in poverty-stricken areas in west China, and collect donated books for earthquake-hit and poverty-stricken areas.


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