xi's moments
Home | Books

Chongqing bookshops open new chapter

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-05-09 08:55

CHONGQING — Despite the risks posed by the current cyber age, Zou Qing (pseudonym), a booklover, bravely opened a bookstore in Southwest China's Chongqing city in 2021, even as the pandemic lingered on.

"At that time, I came back from Vietnam where I opened a Chinese restaurant, and was eager to find new things to do. I love reading books, so my friend said why not open a bookshop? Also, secondhand ones can lower the cost," says Zou.

Within half a month, Zou had set up his secondhand bookshop named Wududu, meaning "reckless" in the Chongqing dialect. Zou set up the bookshop in a residential building due to cost considerations.

"This name accurately describes my bold decision, as many people told me that it could not make money," the 33-year-old says.

Zou was pleasantly surprised to find that many people were interested in his small bookshop and its offerings. "My bottom line is to earn 1,000 yuan ($145) every month, which would be enough to sustain the shop's operations," says Zou.

"My customers often convey that they hope this bookshop can stay open, saying the bookshop is like a spiritual corner for them," he says.

The unseasoned shop owner also found a new sense of pleasure in seeing his customers find the joy of reading a good book. He treated it as their recognition of him since he had handpicked all the books in the store.

"Some independent bookshop owners have big ambitions, like affecting a large group of people. For me, if I could help dozens of people find their love for reading throughout this journey, I think that would be enough," Zou says.

While Zou might have a modest attitude, the fact is that in recent years, Chongqing's secondhand shops have been on the rise, becoming an alternative for booklovers.

Zou Yang, 32, is also a regular customer at Wududu.

"Before, I was more into new books, but now I think secondhand books have unique advantages, such as the price, and the tinted pages that are good for the eyes. Also, you can scavenge for out-of-print editions," says Zou Yang.

Li Shu, also a regular customer at Wududu, opened her own secondhand bookshop in April. Li quit her job last July as an employee at a foreign-invested bank for seven years in search of a new lifestyle.

"I found that an increasing number of young people have become accepting of secondhand books. As the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, I have faith in my business," Li says, adding she is planning to host different kinds of activities, like exchanging books and reading salons, to bring more vigor to her bookshop.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349