Literary & Beautiful China

Editor :Ling Xiao
Literary & Beautiful China()

From the sound of children reading books in the mountainous area, to the subvocalization of passengers on an urban subway scorching away on the rail; from the inextinguishable light of the 24-hour bookstore, to the novelty of traveling in the sea of books, life is all ordinary yet full of extraordinary moments that are fortunately having been captured by photographers. The beauty of reading has taken deep roots in the heart of our people.

On Nov 10, the "Literary and Beautiful China" National Reading Photography Exhibition initiated by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China and organized by China Photo Press opened at the China Millennium Monument in Beijing. It is one of the essential exhibitions of Beijing International Photography Week 2020.

In order to ensure the diversity of the artworks, the exhibition was for the first to collect short video works nationwide. Within three months the organizing committee received a total of 21,685 video works, which cover a wide range of topics with rich and colorful expression. They present the increasingly popular reading concept and the literary atmosphere from various angles.

The construction of a literary society is inseparable from the high-quality reading. Over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, China's publishing industry has achieved rapid development. Statistics show that in 1978, there were only more than 100 publishing houses with about 15,000 books published annually; today, there are more than 580 publishing houses with annual publication of 500,000 books. The leap from book shortage to well-stocked libraries is a witness to the development of the country and the progress of the times, and has in turn fulfilled the expectation of the people's spiritual and cultural life.

One of British writer William Somerset Maugham's most famous quotes from his reading notes argues: "To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life." In prosperity, prepare for change; in adversity, hope for one. Everyone, whether rich or poor, healthy or ill, is born equal in front of books, and reading can soothe fear, tension and exhaustion, and bring warmth, excitement and solicitude. Especially in exacting times when the whole nation was fighting the epidemic and production and life were temporarily on hiatus in the first quarter of the year. More people have rebuilt their confidence and found a haven for their heart through reading.

Reading is an important way to acquire knowledge and accumulate wisdom, and it is also an important way to inherit civilization and improve a nation's cultural accomplishment. In November 2012, the report of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China proposed to carry out national reading activities. Since 2014, The campaign "Advocating Reading for All" has been included in the government work report for seven consecutive years. In 2016, the outline of the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan was released, proposing to make it official.

From 2017 to 2018, the Public Cultural Service Guarantee Law of the People's Republic of China and the Public Library Law of the People's Republic of China were successively promulgated, all of which clearly proposed to promote and protect reading for all. On Oct 22 this year, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China issued the Opinions on Promoting Reading Work for All, proposing to vigorously promote more reading and good reading in the whole society, build a literary society and literary China, and continuously seek for higher stature and enhance spiritual strength.

Excellent literature enriches our spiritual world, and these photos related to the essence of literature portray the beautiful life changed by reading with a unique visual appeal, and narrate the flourishing Chinese story.


This is translated from Zhao Yingxin's narrative in Chinese.

(Source: China Daily)

November 30, 2020