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Shaanxi shows the write stuff

Updated: Aug 5, 2019 By Mei Jia China Daily Print
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To promote the habit of reading, the expo arranged book donations to libraries and reading rooms in rural communities.

To honor those who have been devoted to reading and helping others get the chance to read, 10"reading figures of the year" were announced.

Among them is Guo Hengxun, known as the "diary king" of Yangcheng town in Shanxi province. The 76-year-old retiree has been writing diaries nonstop for 61 years.

"I used 300 brushes and 150 pens in those years," Guo says, adding that his diary is up to 30 million words in 1,100 volumes.

Reading is Guo's biggest hobby, as well as an opportunity for self-improvement.

However, to Xiang Minzhi, from the mountains of Luxi township, Hunan province, books offer him-and others-the chance of a better life.

Xiang lost the use of his legs after birth and dropped out of school in fifth grade. The occasional reading of a newspaper opened up his world. He would crawl 300 meters on his hands to borrow books and learn to read using a dictionary.

Gradually he began to write, and occasionally gets paid for his articles. He donates the money to the upkeep of the Mingzhi Library, which he helped to establish in his village in 2016. Under his guidance, the library has become a popular spot among the local children.

"We have more than 5,000 books and five kinds of newspapers in our collection. The library, on average, welcomes 20 readers every day," Xiang says.

"I found a new goal and I have self-confidence, thanks to reading. What I'm doing is fun, too," he says.

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