Readers flock to find errors in books, get free copies

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-18 08:50

Readers flock to find errors in books, get free copies

Readers are encouraged to find errors in printed books during an event in Beijing on Saturday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Chinese flocked in large numbers to bookstores in Beijing on Saturday, despite the heavy rain.

They were not looking to buy books but rather to find errors on pages. The first to spot the mistakes in Chinese characters in a book would get a free copy.

Reading printed books, paying attention to individual characters and looking up dictionaries seem old school in the internet era.

Yet, the activity helped readers rediscover a conventional charm.

The event was initiated by SogouInput, a Chinese-input software branch of the internet company Sogou.

On that day, some 5,000 readers went through more than 10,000 books, according to event organizer Guo Min.

The event was held across 16 branches of the Yan Ji You and Zi Li Hang Jian bookstore chains in the capital. The books were from two broad areas-best-sellers for their wide readership and relatively short publishing periods, which possibly can lead to errors, and classics that tend to have an influence on readers.

At a downtown branch of the Yan Ji You store on Saturday, Guo says he was surrounded by readers who asked for short discussions on errors they weren't sure of.

He could answer most of the questions because he was once a magazine editor, but to verify spellings, he and the readers turned to the Modern Chinese Dictionary.

"Before coming to me, the first reaction of many readers on encountering doubt while spotting the errors was to check the words on their phones," says Guo.

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