Young readers do things by the book

Two girls are among the young readers visiting the China Children Book Expo that ran from May 28 to June 1 inBeijing. Photo provided toChina DailyAt the China Children Book Expo, you would have been amazed to see the variety of children’s books on sale and the eager young readers picking out their favorites.The expo, which ran in Beijing from May 28 to June 1, featured activities such as storytelling and children’s art workshops. It was the first child-centered event that had been included in the annual Beijing Reading Season, hinting at the growing importance of the children’s book market.”Sales of children’s books have been growing at a double-digit rate from 2002 to 2011, which is regarded as the golden decade by publishers of children’s books,” says Lyu Weizhen, director of the general editorial office of China Children’s Press and Publication Group, one of the country’s largest publishers of children’s books.”Although the rate dropped below 10 percent in 2012 and 2013, it bounced back to a year-on-year growth of 10.2 percent last year,” adds Lyu.According to the Openbook, a widely-cited book industry monitor in China, sales of children’s books constituted 17 percent of the 34 billion yuan ($5.5 billion) in offline book sales and 22 percent of the 20 billion yuan in online book sales in China last year.The annual national reading survey released by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication in April suggests that compared to the average Chinese adult, who read 4.56 paper books and 3.22 e-books in the past year, Chinese children read an average of 8.45 paper books. Although, as more and more adults are turning to cellphones and tablets, Chinese children are reading more paper books.The expo revealed a fast-growing trend´╝Źpicture books, which were ubiquitous at the expo, many of them translated works.