Amid talk of their demise, bookshelves are back

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-30 10:26

Amid talk of their demise, bookshelves are back

More than 40 brick-and-mortar bookstores took part in the Shanghai Book Fair this year. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Though they were once affected by competition from online merchants, brick-and-mortar bookstores are making a comeback thanks to government support, according to Peng Weiguo, deputy director of Shanghai municipal administration of press and publication.

In 2012, Shanghai became the first city in China to introduce policies aimed at supporting and subsidizing physical bookshops. Two years later, the state administration of press and publication launched nationwide measures to help with the development of these businesses.

"All these policies, to a large degree, propelled the development of brick-and-mortar bookstores," said Peng.

According to the annual forum on the innovation and development of brick-and-mortar bookstores which took place during the Shanghai Book Fair, which took place at the Shanghai Exhibition Center from Aug 16 to 22, more than 20 new bookstores have opened or will be opening this year.

In addition, more than 40 brick-and-mortar bookstores participated in the Shanghai Book Fair this year by becoming venues for reading events and book launches. Some bookshops also set up pavilions at the book fair to showcase their products.

In Shanghai, Zhongshu Ge bookstore in Reel Mall, celebrated its first anniversary on Aug 18. Luo Song, the store manager, said that sales have been steady. Located at the heart of the bustling West Nanjing Road commercial area, Zhongshu Ge is a popular destination for young readers.

During the book fair, the store hosted reading events featuring You Touched Me, the latest novel by American Chinese author Yan Geling.

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