CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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More local books needed for young people

HONG KONG (SE): The Catholic Press in Hong Kong should publish more books to cater to the needs of young people as their interest in reading is still strong, which is a proven fact by the high turnout for the annual Hong Kong Book Fair. 
Josephine Lau Wai-ling, general manager of the Catholic Centre Bookstore, is of the opinion that although there are lots of good books published for children and adults, there is a scarcity of quality books for young people to help in their formation in the society. 
She was talking to Kung Kao Po as the Catholic Centre was gearing up for the Book Fair held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, from July 18 to 24. 
Lau believes that faith and vocations can be fostered among young people by providing them with a greater variety of publications. “Books for young people are seriously lacking and the youth often find the available books too simple or too difficult,” she said.
She cited the example of many of the books on spirituality, available in Hong Kong, are translated from foreign publications. They fail to attract the local readers because the Hong Kong youth find them difficult to relate with their lives. On the other hand, a recent Chinese book titled, My Angel My teens, about the vocation stories of the local religious sisters and priests published by the Catholic Truth Society in Chinese, has received a good response as numerous copies have been sold since its publication in April. 
She believes it shows that readers in Hong Kong support local work and hopes there will be more religious or lay people to write books. Lau said people will also be more interested in reading books covering hot topics. For example, the movie, Silence, last year encouraged people to read its reviews published in Chinese.
Tong Hing-keung, principal of St. Peter’s Secondary School, feels that the reading habits of young people need to be developed with proper encouragement. He said there are many interesting books available but they need the support of the school teachers who can arouse the interest of young people in reading them. 
Tong, also a member of the Diocesan Youth Commission, believes that reading good literature can strengthen faith. He added that if students’ interest in religion and ethnics studies are developed, they will be encouraged to read more books about religions. 
The Catholic booths in the Exhibition are located at Hall 3 this year where a small corner is used to hold forums in which church people are invited to talk about reading, culture and faith. Books related to such topics will be recommended.
The Hong Kong Publishing Professionals Society recently released the result of a survey in April, which shows that young people below 40 years old have a stronger interest to read, and the percentage of people interested in reading decreases with age. Among the young people interviewed, 70 to 80 per cent said they read paperbacks. 

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