Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing city's cul­ture and life at book­stores

Changjiang Weekly - - SOCIETY - By Zhou Manzhen

Nowadays, book­stores have be­come much more than pa­per­back mer­chants. Overnight stays, con­certs and for­eign lan­guage salons have qui­etly con­verted the book­stores of old into gen­uine cul­tural and life­style cen­ters. Go­ing to the book­store has be­come a mod­ern op­tion of en­ter­tain­ment for Wuhan res­i­dents.

Book­store con­certs

The pop­u­lar cham­ber con­cert of Beyond Book Story book­store be­gan in 2015. Ev­ery De­cem­ber, Beyond Book Store and Wuhan Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra jointly or­ga­nize the Life Mu­sic Fes­ti­val. The or­ches­tra se­lects reper­toires which are short and easy to un­der­stand. Dur­ing the in­ter­vals, the per­form­ers will also in­ter­pret for the au­di­ences the sto­ries be­hind the songs and mu­sic.

Be­sides Beyond Book Story, Wen­hua Book­store, Roam­ing Book­store at 403 In­ter­na­tional Art Dis­trict, and other book­stores also hold their own con­certs reg­u­larly. Roam­ing Book­store, which has hosted sev­eral sum­mer con­certs re­cently, is ori­ented to­wards young read­ers, em­pha­siz­ing world cul­ture, youth and fash­ion. It also holds var­i­ous ex­hi­bi­tions, salons and balls from time to time. Its Global Dis­cov­ery For­eign Lan­guages Salon held once a month also at­tracts many read­ers.

Night book­store

The night book­store is a new thing. When the world­fa­mous "Wall­book Dad" Christo­pher Lloyd came to Wuhan this April, Wen­hua Book­store launched its first night event — a talk "What on Earth Hap­pened: the Com­plete Story of the Planet" with a scholar of Bri­tish his­tory. So far, Wen­hua Book­store has hosted 20 night events.

Ev­ery week­end from July through Au­gust this year, Zall Book­store held the night event "Mar­velous Night at the Book­store." Book lovers en­gaged in such ac­tiv­i­ties as book shar­ing in tents and mak­ing an an­cient po­etry col­lec­tion with mov­able-type print­ing. The 16 hours spent in the book­store is not only a brand-new read­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, but also a new way of life.

City guide

In 2017, Beyond Book Story's Hankou Store un­veiled the "City Cul­ture Tourist Guide to the His­tor­i­cal Build­ings on Hankou Zhong­shan Av­enue." Chen Shuyuan, a prison guard, stood out from more than 400 ap­pli­cants and be­came first in the ini­tial batch of vol­un­teers.

Chen said, "there is an old lady who comes to par­tic­i­pate in our ac­tiv­ity al­most ev­ery time. She said that she has lived in the neigh­bor­hood for a life­time and is quite fa­mil­iar with all the al­leys and shops. But it's the first time for her to un­der­stand the his­tory of the city from our city guide." The staff in charge of this ac­tiv­ity said that when young peo­ple are will­ing to de­vote them­selves to ur­ban cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, the city will be more cul­tur­ally vi­brant.

Night event in Wen­hua Book­store

Con­cert in Beyond Book Story

Art class at Roam­ing Book­store

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