Across China: Mountain reading challenges booklover expectations

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-24 02:34:23|Editor: yan
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CHONGQING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Booklovers have been flocking to the top of a mountain in southwest China's Chongqing City, not for the breathtaking views, but to read.

On World Reading Day, which fell Monday, Nbooks Club started a two-day "spring fair" on the top of remote Nanshan Mountain in Nan'an District. The fair include books sales, reading salons, handicrafts exhibition, flowers, food and drink.

"I like this bookstore. It has a different feeling reading here, which is much better than traditional libraries or bookshops," said Tang Lingrong, who took her 10-year-old son to the bookstore Sunday. "There are spectacular views of Nanshan Mountain, coffee and a cosy sofa, creating a very comfortable environment for reading, which attracted me to come. I guess that's the secret of it's success--it's in such a remote place."

Nbooks Club opened in May 2016 by a young couple. The 700-square-meter bookstore receives many customers on both workdays and weekends, and the guesthouses run by the bookstore are always fully booked.

One year after it opened, Cheng Yusi, Che Yun and their team built a new shop near the old one, equipped with a theater, and hall for holding ceremonies, an art gallery, restaurant and rooms for parties.

Beside the success of their business, the bookshop has injected new life into the neglected mountain community. Inspired by the bookshop, several cultural enterprises followed suit and set up businesses on the mountain, which has now been developed into a cultural landmark in the district.

"Our popular culture attracts many young people, but based on its own history and culture Nanshan Mountain expects more visitors to boost the local economy," Che said, adding that cultural activities usually attracted whole families, rather than individual customers.

The local government has also provided support for the development of the bookshop, which awarded a bonus to the bookshop and introduced publishers for cooperation.

"Many entrepreneurs want to learn from our successful experience, and we are willing to share with them. We hope our success will invigorate more people to join us in the cultural and creative industry," Che said.

To inspire reading, the local government has also encouraged its public library to open private reading areas in recent years.

The district public library has cooperated with around 10 cafes, private bookshops, tea houses and a Tai Chi club, setting up more than 150 mini libraries in local villages.

"It is a win-win project as the public library sees more readers, private enterprises benefit from rent concessions and tax reductions, while a more accessible reading environment is developed for our residents," said Zhang Xiaogeng, who is in charge of the Nan'an District public library.