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How popular is Zhuyin in China?

I read this interesting blog from John Pasden on the use of Zhuyin.

It made me wonder how popular it actually is these days as I know that they use traditional characters in Taiwan so this is probably popular there and other parts of China.

This is particularly interesting to me primarily because I want to practice my reading in mandarin so I have been going to the public library in my city the last few weeks to find children’s books written in simplified characters. To my surprise I discovered that most of the available materials are actually written in traditional characters and zhuyin so I started to wonder why this may be.

I don’t have the answer for your question, but I have been considering learning it.
On another note please don’t read children’s books, that’s a sure bet to leave you bored! For this reason I recommend lingq, you are able to upload any PDF/article or whatever you like in chinese and can use more advanced materials by doing this because of the built in dictionary. 2 downsides tho , first off lingq doesn’t support traditional characters yet (but if you upload traditional it will convert to simplified pretty accurately) second downside is it’s a bit tricky to wrap your head around at first. Once you get used to it though its the best thing out there for reading practice. And there’s a lot of content already up with audio as well.
I would at least recommend working your way through some comics, I recently got a couple editions of Dragonball Z in Taipei and am working through that right now, real fun and more interesting then children’s books I think! If your still serious about the kids books I think if you type into google “chinese reading practice” there’s a site with a good amount of children’s short stories, I myself don’t have the patience for those. Comics and lingq are my advice.