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Taiwanese read an average of two books per year: ministry

Taiwanese read an average of two books per year: ministry

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) Taiwanese nationals read an average of two printed books each per year, putting them behind neighboring countries in terms of reading habits, the Ministry of Culture said Thursday. Taiwanese people's reading habits are behind those of their counterparts in South Korea and Japan, who each read an average of 10.8 and 8.4 printed books per year, respectively, the ministry said in a report on Taiwan's publishing industry and development strategy that was released during a Cabinet meeting. Among the various digital reading devices, meanwhile, 29.8 percent of local readers use tablet computers, 27.5 percent use desktop computers and 23.3 percent use smartphones, according to the report. E-books and magazines are the most popular content for digital reading in Taiwan, with each user reading between one and four e-books per month and spending 16-30 minutes reading each time, the report said. Premier Jiang Yi-huah said during the meeting that the popularity of of the Internet and digital reading, coupled with the rise of China's publishing industry, have taken a toll on the local publishing sector. Jiang also instructed the culture and education ministries to work together to expand the country's reading population and promote reading. Deputy Culture Minister George Hsu said the Fair Trade Commission is considering setting a "reasonable" price range for books, because the major bookstores are able to offer heavy discounts to attract customers, which makes it a lot more difficult for smaller independent bookstores to compete. Turning to the issue of the high tariffs on books exported to China from Taiwan, Hsu said the government hopes to eventually settle this issue through the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. (By Hsieh Chia-chen and Jamie Wang)


Updated : 2021-04-18 20:02 GMT+08:00