Our lives are moving at such a fast pace these days. I wonder how many of us still read books. At least in CE, we try to turn the pages, every once in a while.
That we do. Bookshelf is a monthly feature on Culture Express where we introduce what China is reading and what the world is reading about China. In each edition, we recommend books and feature the major stories making headlines in the publishing industry.
In fact, 2008 was a good year for China's publishing industry. The literary classics did well, and there was a huge growth in Internet publishing -- the most widely read medium in the country.
After the May 12th earthquake in the Sichuan province, publishers did their part and rose to the challenge of bringing hope to the survivors in a time of emergency. Within 16 hours, brochures were printed and distributed to those in need.
December 18th marks the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening up policy. One hundred and two titles were published to mark the changes brought on by 30 years of renewal.
The industry buoyancy was felt in the range of subjects, the number of publications and a blossoming copyright trade. The advancementdemonstrated an aggressive, entrepreneurial industry flourishing in the new market-oriented system.
Private publishers, who managed to scrape a living now enjoy ample leeway to develop and grow. A thriving private publishing sector produces an estimated 30-thousand titles each year, or 15 per cent of China's total book production. This phenomenon was not acknowledged until November. In a recent interview, General Administration of Press and Publication President Liu Binjie says private publishers are welcome to compete with their state-owned counterparts in a way that strengthens the growth of both.