Monday, October 23, 2006

A mammoth, crowded hypermarket of books

No ultra-modern hypercampus is meaningful and productive if the people in general, especially youths, are not passionate in the quest for knowledge. Fortunately, socialist China's development of educational hardware is also complimented by a popular desire to acquire knowledge for self-improvement through reading books. In the morning of 14 October (Sat), I was indeed overawed by the sight of the size of the crowd shopping for books in the five-level hypermarket called Guangzhou Book-Selling Center at the Tianhe Road.

According to information provided by the Center on its official homepage, since it first began to operate on 23 November, 1994, 70 million people have visited the shop and it has sold 62 million copies of books. It is also said that the Guangzhou Book-Selling Center is the largest retail book market in the whole of China.

What interested me the most in the hybermarket were those Chinese-language translation of Western writings on politics like Thomas Paine's Common Sense and Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

The translated editions are usually cheaper than those published in the English-language outside China because of the economy of scale and for multilingual but poor people like me who are interested only in the ideas and lines or modes of reasoning of the authors, whether written in Chinese or English, it helps to save a great deal of money.

Passion of reading among youths in Shenzhen


Blogger Blueheeler - the hound who sniffs out fishy news said...

With more than 1billion hardworking people in China, they can succeed in whatever they put their mind to. Good to see that the thirst for knowledge is alive and well in a 'communist' country..

8:33 PM  

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