Wednesday March 31st, 2010

Reading is Hot

kang-diMaybe the key to raising and refining literacy is to treat it like blue jeans or beer and have beautiful people promote it. That’s the idea in China, anyway, according to this article (via PD_Smith), which focuses mostly on a 21-year-old beauty named Kang Di:

Kang was found during a campaign titled “finding the most beautiful book model on Beijing subway,” organized by the World Book Publishing Company and So far, according to marketing department campaign organizer Xiao Kai, they’ve had over 100 successful applicants. Ten finalists will be culled from those on April 16, and of those, one “book ambassador” will be chosen on April 23 after a rigorous talent show, complete with a history and literature quiz.

Wu Hesong, director of the marketing department of World Book Publishing Company, told Lifestyle that the whole campaign is non-profit and aims to help “cultivate Beijingers’ good reading habits” by recruiting and presenting pretty women caught in the act of reading.

And how does Kang — who’s currently leading the competition — feel about the prospect of winning?

“I didn’t take it very seriously at first, but of course I’d like to win, because it’s an elegant and down-to-earth way to get famous and might be another window for a new career,” Kang said, laughing before she explained, “I mean, the image of a book model is healthy and quiet. It suits me and is also acceptable to my parents.”