Library "readathon" tickles Chinese book lovers
HANGZHOU, May 27 (Xinhua) -- More than 7,000 Chinese readers in the Yangtze River Delta region took part in this year's reading marathon (readathon) on Saturday to promote reading among the public.
The avant-garde event to encourage people to read has gained popularity in China over the past few years, attracting 1,400 teams this year to compete in 115 public libraries in Shanghai and Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces in the region.
All readathon participants were required to collaborate with their team members to finish the same book in six hours before they had a closed-book test on what they had read.
In Zhejiang Library, competitors could capture their thoughts on the answers by mind mapping on electronic devices.
It is a good way to nurture a reading habit and show people the pleasure through the pages in this era of fragmented reading, one of the organizers said.
The book used in the contest, not yet published in simplified Chinese, was "How to Find a Habitable Planet" written by James Kasting, professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University.
Zheng Yongchun, the book translator and a researcher with National Astronomical Observatories of China who won the 2016 Carl Sagan Medal, spent two weeks to revise his translation after the publisher told him the result of book selection of the event.
"Searching for a habitable planet like Earth is a topic that interests people," said Zheng, who also set and modified part of the test questions. "It is a scientific subject, not only about the magic extra terrestrial."
The latest national reading report conducted by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication showed that an average Chinese adult read 4.67 books in 2018.