Chengdu to promote cultural exchange through physical bookstores as the City of Bookstores in China
CHENGDU, China, Sept. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ The 2018 Chengdu International Bookstore Forum kicked off on September 14 in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province. Stakeholders from bookstores, publishing and culture gathered at the forum to discuss the new reading craze hitting the world, according to the Organizing Committee of the 2018 Chengdu International Bookstore Forum.
This Forum, themed "Reading, the New Wave", gathered the representatives from bookstores such as London Review Bookshop (U.K), Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), as well as publishing platforms including Bloomsbury Publishing (China) and Shanghai Century Publishing (Group) Co., Ltd. They delved into the three topics, i.e. "looking for future readers", "reaching readers through bookstores", and "different practices of innovation". The sponsor hoped this forum would enlighten ideas and circulate wisdom to promote future exchanges and cooperation in the international book industry.
The UK was the first guest of honor at the forum. At the opening ceremony, Carma Elliot CMG OBE, Minister (Culture and Education) at the British Embassy in Beijing, representative of the guest of honor, noted that China and the UK would have more and more cultural exchanges.
The Chengdu International Bookstore Forum has been held for three consecutive years.
"As shown by a lot of data, the share of e-books was declining in the past two years. I believe that paper books will keep pace with e-books ultimately," said Natalia de la Ossa, manager of London Review Bookshop.
The enduring core strengths of physical bookstores lie in the irreplaceable user experience and their aesthetics of life. Chengdu, as the host city of the forum, has vigorously promoted the construction and development of physical bookstores in recent years.
The Books and Periodicals Distribution Association of China, an authoritative organization in China's publishing and bookstore industry, summarized the development of physical bookstores in China in 2017, and granted the title of "2017 City of Bookstores in China" to Chengdu upon evaluation of factors including numbers, sizes, activity, and influence of bookshops. According to statistics, Chengdu had 3,463 bookstores in 2017, ranking second only to Beijing. Chengdu is among the top cities in China in quantity or quality of physical bookstores.
However, as the "City of Bookstores in China", Chengdu did more than constructing new bookstores. In Chengdu, bookstores not only sell books, but also offer spaces for cultural exchange, as well as showcasing the city's pursuit of aesthetics of life. The love of life and rich aesthetic taste of local people in Chengdu are fully revealed through those physical bookstores.
In addition to the huge volume, bookstores in Chengdu are also famous for their characteristics. Winshare Books at 9 Square Shopping Mall and Zhongshuge Bookstore Chengdu were titled China's Most Beautiful Bookstores in 2017. Decorated with various green plants, Winshare Books has created cozy atmosphere in its forest-like reading spaces, where the Kids Winshare is dedicated for children. In addition, the bookstore has also an exhibition space and a lecture area where a number of events are held regularly. Zhongshuge Bookstore, famous for its bold and exaggerated decoration style, employs a complex mode of business operation. There are other famous bookstores in Chengdu, such as JP Books, Fang Suo Commune, Yan Ji You and Sisyphe and each has its own characteristics. These bookstores have one thing in common: constantly trying a multi-level mode of business while ensuring the original high-quality reading experience.
The bookstores in Chengdu have made great efforts in the extended reading and trans-boundary integration to improve reading experience, which can also be regarded as the future trends of reading.
Li Lu, a new graduate from Sichuan University, wants to stay in Chengdu, even though her parents have arranged a stable job for her in her hometown. "Because such bookstores in Chengdu cannot be found in my hometown," said Lu. Lu chose Chengdu not only because of the bookstore, but also the unique cultural atmosphere here.
In Chengdu, the historical urban cultural background is integrated with the new fashionable lifestyle. In addition to the rapid development and improvement of economy and infrastructure, Chengdu has not lost its unique cultural advantage. Although this ancient city with a history of 2,300 years of civilization is embracing more and more shopping malls, luxury brands and modern entertainment venues, almost every shopping mall has one or more elegant bookstores, and the fame of "falling in love with reading in Chengdu" is gradually spreading.
"Reading is a comfortable way of life for Chengdu people," said Mao Jihong, founder of Fang Suo Commune. In Chengdu, bookstores, exhibitions and lectures have become an integral part of the citizens' cultural life.
Chengdu is shifting away from the stereotype that ties the city only with giant pandas. It is now becoming the forefront of Chinese cities as a livable city which spreads modern culture and embraces the aesthetics of life.
SOURCE The Organizing Committee of the 2018 Chengdu International Bookstore Forum