Wang Shiben writes lantern riddles and learns Lantern Festival customs with local children in Guanxing Village, Yi 'an District, Tongling City, Feb 26.[Photo by Xu Minhao]
Wang Shiben, 71 years old, is a villager of Guanxing Village, Yi 'an District, Tongling City. In 2011, Wang decided to use several empty rooms in his small yard to set up a "rural culture space" with books, pens and ink for villagers to read for free.
After 10 years of development, the cultural space now offers more than 5,000 books, more than 500 works of painting and calligraphy, over 10,000 copies of newspapers and periodicals. It often holds reading activities, painting and calligraphy gatherings, and has so far served over 30,000 visitors including local residents, left-behind children, and tourists. Because of his contributions to the local community, Wang was elected as one of the "China Good People" in 2018, and as a national "Rural Reading Model" in 2020.
Wang Shiben is sorting out books on the shelf. [Photo by Xu Minhao]
Children read in Wang Shiben's "rural culture space". [Photo by Xu Minhao]