New life infused into Beijing's past

By XIN WEN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-07-10 07:18
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A limited edition phonograph is displayed at the center. WANG JING/CHINA DAILY

Cui Qichao, owner and founder of the latter business, which is named Another Bookstore, said it houses more than 2,000 books in four categories: women's writing, women's history, feminist theory and legal health. Works by female scholars such as Chizuko Ueno and Li Yinhe are particularly popular among readers.

"For a long time, many women were 'invisible'. My goal is to allow everyone to see women's creativity, thoughts and literature, as well as their circumstances," said Cui, 30, a native of Yichun, Heilongjiang province.

"Throughout history, women have played significant roles in diverse fields. I believe that opening a feminist-themed bookstore in Tai'an Li, a cultural heritage site with its own historical background and culture, is the perfect combination of cultural elements."

Raised by his mother, Cui said that women, rather than men, generally give him a sense of security.

"Some problems might still exist in society, and I hope our readers can gain a clear understanding of these issues and work together to increase equality for everyone," he added.

Cui said that since the bookstore opened, 80 percent of its customers have been women. It quickly became well-known in the publishing industry, with some writers making special trips to visit the outlet.

Chen, who lives opposite Tai'an Li, said: "While the architecture is now notable for its modern style, I remember when the yards were overgrown with weeds, and the stairs in the buildings were in a state of disrepair. Occasionally, smoke could be seen rising from the rooftops as the residents cooked.

"If the buildings hadn't been restored, I would only have bleak memories of this place. Now, with more fancy shops and restaurants opening, I am delighted to see it coming back to life and attracting large numbers of visitors."

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