The number of new books published in Taiwan last year was the lowest in 18 years, a National Central Library report released on Saturday showed.
Last year, 36,810 new titles were published — 2,304, or 5.89 percent, fewer than in 2017, the report said, adding that last year was the first time since 2001 that the number of new titles published fell below 37,000.
The number of new titles published has decreased for two consecutive years, the library said, adding that there was a decline of 3.19 percent in 2018.
Photo courtesy of the National Central Library
From January to December last year, 4,952 publishers applied for International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) from the library, said the report, which is published annually based on ISBN applications and Cataloging in Publication (CIP) data.
Despite the downward trends, the number of new books published in some genres or categories grew, the report said, adding that the textbook, exam preparation and comics categories grew by 459, 397 and 241 respectively.
Publishing trends are closely connected to social changes, the library said.
The types of test prep book that saw the greatest increase last year were ones for national exams, technical certifications, exams for state-owned businesses and language certifications, reflecting the publishing industry’s response to society’s need for pragmatic matters, it said.
Based on applications for ISBN numbers, there were nearly 80 new books last year on the new Test of English for International Communication exam launched in 2018, it said.
With the implementation of new curriculum guidelines last year, many books on increasing literacy were introduced, while books aimed at improving the foundation of children’s knowledge drove an increase in the publication of children’s books, it said.
The presidential election was the most significant political or economic topic discussed last year, the library said, adding that more than 10 new books had candidates’ names in their titles.
Nearly 80 percent of the books published last year were written for adults, including regular readers and academics, the library said.
While the humanities and history genre had the most new titles last year at 4,269 — making up 11.6 percent of all new books published — it also saw a great decline compared with the previous year, the report said.
The genre with the second-most new books was children’s books at 3,887, followed by social science with 3,790 new titles, fiction with 3,497 and art with 2,806, the report showed.
Of the new titles published last year, 1,591, or 4.32 percent, were e-books, the report showed.
Although the number of new e-books dropped last year, Library Director-General Tseng Shu-hsien (曾淑賢) said that the digital reading trend could not be ignored.
Public library loan data from last year showed that loans of e-books grew by 46.55 percent, she said.
According to a Ministry of Culture study on the publishing industry, people are reading and spending more on e-books, she said.
With the COVID-19 outbreak causing people to spend less time outside, reading at home has become a good way to calm the mind, she added.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been