A bookshop where people are reading

I had to hop over the border yesterday to visit a factory in Shenzhen. Before I went back to Hong Kong, I stopped at “Windows of the World” metro. Around eight years ago I lived next to the metro stop and I recall there’s a large shopping mall.

So I stopped by, met a friend for a coffee and browsed around. And I saw something which you hardly find in Hong Kong – a bookshop!

Unfortunately Hong Kong isn’t a very cultural or intellectual place. Yes, there are museums (and some bookshops), but for a city of seven million that claims to be “Asia’s World City” the number of book shops and museums is minuscule.

Why is that? It’s a mix of the world’s highest property prices that make running any business that relies on space difficult (expensive brands are in a clear advantage) and a population that prefers online games to books.

The first statement is a fact, the second “statement” is my personal, completely biased opinion. When I take the metro in the morning I see loads of people sleeping or staring at their mobile screen playing online games. I don’t see a lot of people reading.

So I was pleased browsing through the bookshop in Shenzhen. The stationary section included a section where you can create your own Chinese chop. Unfortunately the characters of my name weren’t available.

What was really truly amazing is a corner where people sat and – read a book. That you won’t find in Hong Kong. Space is much too precious to use for displaying goods.

I’ll definitely come back….

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One thought on “A bookshop where people are reading

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  1. It’s similar in Singapore. Bookshops are few and rare, but I have never seen anyone sit inside and read. Well, maybe some Japanese kids in the manga section (Kinokuniya is a big player here).
    It’s a bit sad I always thought, but on a recent trip back home I noticed that all these small bookshops are mostly gone.

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