In advance of World Book Day on April 23, the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication released its 16th national survey on Chinese people's reading habits on Tuesday in Beijing.
The survey found that Chinese adults on average read 7.99 books in 2018, including 3.32 digital copies, while younger people aged up to 17 read 8.91 books, a slight increase from 2017.
Wei Yushan, director of the academy, said that the survey mainly shows growth in digital reading, as demand for print books remains stable.
"We also find a sharp rise in audio books, almost one-third of the Chinese population has the habit of listening to audio books," Wei said.
Reading from mobile phones has become the favorite way to read and get information. Adult Chinese on average spend almost 85 minutes a day on their mobile phones, four more minutes compared to 2017.
"Online, many Chinese read news, watch short videos and do socials. Reading once again proves to be for entertainment and it's fragmentized. We found less than enough in-depth reading activities with longer time spans," Wei said.
There's also no small gap between rural and urban residents in terms of reading habits.
Among adults, 80.8 percent have the habit of reading, which covers all kinds of reading material, in print, digital, or online - a rise of 0.5 percent compared to 2017.
The percentage of rural residents who read is 14.5 percent lower than that in urban areas.
Governments at different levels are working to minimize the gap, including offering books and online access for free in libraries built in villages and towns.
The annual Government Work Report in March mentioned the notion of "championing a culture of reading" for the sixth year since 2014.
There will be reading promotion activities and events all over the country this week to celebrate World Book Day.