E-book reading has become a popular trend in the US and Europe. And Amazon’s e-book reader, Kindle, is a big hit. However, it is generally accepted the e-book market in China still lags far behind.
At the Beijing Spring Book Fair there were hundreds of publishers, but very few of them are selling books in digital format. Print books still rule the market. But young consumers are showing interest in digital reading.
Whether on computers, MP4 players, or mobile phones, China’s digital readers have become a huge consumer market numbering around 79 million. But Xi Guohua, minister of MIIT the content and e-book reader markets are failing to meet the demand.
CCTV reports the National Library in Beijing makes e-book readers available to its members. They can download hundreds of digital books, similar to Amazon’s Kindle, which is not yet on sale in China due to patent concerns.
Shao Yan, from Digital Sharing Space of National Library, said, ‘A lot of our members borrow the ebook readers. Not only young people, but also older people are interested in them. They want to experience the new way of reading.’
The National Library says each e-book reader costs thousands of yuan, and so they can only be used inside the library. The library is working on the development of digital readers and hopes to provide take-home service soon.