Many Taiwanese students have not developed a reading habit and do not consider it an important part of their daily life. The result? A stagnant book market.
The News Lens
A project manager from a major publisher in Taiwan says an education system that discourages
students from picking up reading as an extracurricular activity is one of the main reasons behind Taiwan’s stagnant book market and depreciating publishing industry.
On June 6, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) told the Legislative Yuan that Taiwan’s publishing industry is facing a battle for survival, with its total value dropping significantly and a massive closing down of bookstores. Cheng said that average royalties for authors have dropped to less than NT$10 (approximately US$0.31) per book, while editors’ salaries have been steadily decreasing.
Cheng promised to take measures to improve the overall environment for the industry and raise the salaries for people who work in publishing. Tentative proposals include fixed book prices, diversifying channels for book sales, establishing a public fund, encouraging bookstore tourism, helping bookstores transition to digital, and integrating multimedia platforms.
While Cheng said the issue mainly arises from the rampant cost-down philosophy and poor adaptation to the digital era among Taiwanese publishers and bookstores, Tseng Shih-shan (曾士珊), project manager at Commonwealth Publish Group, says the real culprit is Taiwan’s education system and people’s poor reading habits. [FULL STORY]