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China's book consumption in 2014

2015-01-27 13:28 China.org.cn Web Editor: Li Yan
A report shows that readers in Guangdong province bought one sixth of the national total in 2014. [File photo]

A report shows that readers in Guangdong province bought one sixth of the national total in 2014. [File photo]

China's largest online book retailer, dangdang.com, released its 2014 book consumption report on 13 January 2015.

The report shows that readers in Guangdong province bought one sixth of the national total. Tianjin citizens buy the most children's books, while Chinese dictionaries dominate sales in Hubei province.

The report contains two main parts: the best-seller list, and statistical facts about book sales broken-down by province, by university, and by sales in the top ten cities.

Chinese people purchased 33 million books via dangdang.com in 2014. The top three provinces for book consumption are Guangdong with 16.89 percent, Beijing 11.39 percent, and Jiangsu 7.01 percent. They are followed by Shanghai 6.45 percent, Shandong 6.23 percent and Zhejiang 5.71 percent.

Guangdong province remains the largest market for books. The total sales volume in 2014 was equal to the sum total of 16 provinces in China. Beijing ranks second: its book consumption equals the total purchased by people living in Liaoning, Hunan, Hebei and Anhui provinces.

Reader's preferences differ by province. People living in Tianjin municipality account for a third of China's children's book market, while sales of dictionaries and reference books predominate in Hubei and Tibet.

If one excludes municipalities: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Chengdu are the top four cities for book consumption. Capital cities buy about 40 percent of the total volume in their province, while Dongguan is the only non-capital city ranked in the top 10.

E-book consumption has increased dramatically along with the development and popularization of smart phones. The ratio of e-book sales to hardcopy sales rose from 10 percent to 30 percent in 2014. The top three sales regions are also the biggest e-book markets: Guangdong, Beijing and Jiangsu. It has become popular for readers to read and buy e-books by mobile phone. In 2014, 60 million e-books were downloaded, which is equal to 20 percent of hardcopy sales. That figure is 10 percent higher than that in 2013.

In China's universities, the Sun Yat-sen University was the dark horse, as it topped the league, followed by Wuhan University, Beijing Normal University, Renmin University, and Zhejiang University. Perhaps surprisingly, China's two leading universities, Peking University and Tsinghua University,only came in sixth and tenth place respectively.

Students' tastes at different universities vary by books category. Students from Peking University prefer finance and business books, while Tsinghua students favor books on the arts and sciences. Those who study at arts colleges tend to buy the least books.

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