2016 Digital Reading Report: Youth Read More, Middle-Age Pay More

January 12, 2017
By CYOLEditor: Penny Huang


2016 Digital Reading Report: Youth Read More, Middle-Age Pay More

Passengers on a Line 2 subway train in Beijing turn to their smart phones to read books, magazines, or simply play games, to break up their journeys. [chinadaily.com.cn]


According to a recent report, the majority of mobile digital readers are young people under 25 and students in high schools and universities read 18 books on average in 2016, ranking top of all groups.

The report on Chinese digital reading in 2016 was released on January 4, 2017 by iReader, China's leading brand for digital reading.

The report showed that about 68 percent of people reading on mobile devices are under 25 years old. Although high school students and college students read the highest number of books, they spend less money on buying digital books compared to people who have already worked.

The report also indicated steadily increasing amounts spent on e-books with age. Precisely, the average cost for college students is 72 yuan (U.S. $10.5) per year whereas people who have been working for ten years spend 145 yuan (U.S. $21).

The report further suggests that 37 percent of the younger generation interviewed read books on the subway, followed by reading at bedtime (28 percent) and while going out (26 percent).

When it comes to what content people are reading, the report indicated distinctive characteristics for readers at different phases.

Specifically, high school students prefer to read love stories whilst college students tend to read suspense fiction, fantastic fiction and literary prose. Graduates are more concerned about books on success and employment and readers who have been working for three years focus on interpersonal relationships and general history.

Books on financial management are popular among people working for five years and those for ten years are likely to read books about traditional Chinese medicine and health maintenance.

The report also indicated that people who are still studying at schools or have been working for a long time prefer to take reading notes.

Over half of teenagers surveyed are used to taking notes while reading on digital devices. People who have been working for 3-5 years lack the patience to make reading notes, compared to other groups.

iReader also listed the ten most popular books on their electronic reader: The Three-Body Trilogy (Santi Heji), I Belonged to You (Cong Nide Quanshijie Luguo), Grief Grocery Store (Jieyou Zahuo Dian), The History of Ming Dynasty (Mingchao Naxie Shi'er), Ferryman (Baiduren), Soul Land(Comic Edition) (Douluo Dalu), A Dream of Red Mansions (Honglou Meng), The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi), Journey to the West (Xiyou Ji) and A Smile Is Beautiful (Weiwei Yixiao Hen Qingcheng) respectively.

Furthermore, the report also presented some trends on youth's digital reading on the iReader platform in 2016.

In 2016, suspense e-books were well-received, especially Japanese and domestic suspense works. In particular, novels which have been adapted into movies or TV plays drew young readers' attention. For instance, the 2016 TV drama Medical Examiner Dr. Qin won nationwide popularity, which in turn created a huge fan following for its original fiction. The report showed that most readers of Dr. Qin are young people born in the 1990s.

Last year witnessed the slow growth of readers in the e-magazine industry and an explosive rise in domestic comic fields. For example, A Smile Is Beautiful captured the hearts of readers born after 2000.

Meanwhile, young readers began to pay rising attention to non-fiction books such as Empire Qin (Daqin Diguo) and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

Regarding youth works, love stories and inspirational books are the two most popular categories.

In addition, digital literary classics such as Cai Chongda's "No More Than Skins" (Pi'nang), Tagore's "Stray Birds", Yu Hua's "To Live" (Huozhe) and Long Yingtai's "Watched" (Musong) received enduring popularity among youth.

(Source: CYOL/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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