The 2018 Taiwan Reading Report Press Conference was held on February 25, 2019 at the Ministry of Education. NCL’s Director-general Shu-hsien Tseng announced the results of the 2018 Annual Taiwan Reading and Public Reading Ability Report. During 2018, a total of 91.98 million persons entered Taiwan libraries, with 21.67 million of them checking out books. A total of 77.91 million books were checked out, which is a sizable increase over 2017. This shows that efforts by the Ministry of Education and public libraries to promote reading are noticeably paying off. Furthermore, language and literature books were again the genre the public was most interested in reading. Over the course of the year, a total of 38.8 million volumes were checked out, accounting for 49.95% of the total number of books borrowed. Based on the distribution of reading among different age groups, the 35-44 age group was the primary readers of the population, borrowing 20.27 million volumes. This is 26.02% of the total number of books borrowed. As for which genre is most adored by the public, it is none other than language and literature. However, best sellers this last year were no longer limited to martial art novels; for the first time books on travel and history-geography were among the top sellers.
National Central Library included statistics on each type of library in the report, analyzing the public’s reading ability and the competitive power of reading in cities. Reading ability was assessed using the following four metrics: average number of books owned per person, average number of books borrowed per person, average number of visits to a library per person, and the ratio of library card holders. The press conference ended with the Ministry of Education’s Nan-hsien Chu issuing awards for the “Most Competitive Reading Power City” and “Outstanding Reading Ability City.” Awardees of the Most Competitive Reading Power City included the following cities and counties: Taipei, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Penghu County, Lienchiang County, Hsinchu, Taitung County, and Keelung.