Site Search :
·Fifth Ministerial Conference of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Held in Beijing
·Drug Fight Confronted with More Challenges
·Senior CPC Leader Returns to Beijing after Four-country Visit
·Calligraphy, Then and Now
·Lotus Painter Cai Qibao
·The Olympic Ideal
·Riverside Romance in Central Anhui
·Into the Wild – Hiking through Qizang Valley
·Folklore Flying High in Weifang
·China’s Soft Power: Room for Improvement
·Browse, Click, Buy - Domestic Consumers Head Overseas with Online Shopping
·A Private Company’s Road to Internationalization
·Zhang Jiao, Ardent Advocate of Afforestation and Green Farming
·First Single Children Come of Age
·E-Government: Open, Approachable Government Websites
Around Chinamore
·Scientists Uncover Causes of Mass Extinction in the Ashes
·Kaili -- Scenery, Music and Southern Charm
·Ningxia: Putting Money Down on Culture

Traditional Bookstores Fight for Survival as Online Book Sales Boom

Li Weijie, a middle-aged man, visits Tianze Bookstore near his office in downtown Tianjin whenever he can. He came that day to check if the books he wanted had arrived.

"I prefer traditional bookstores (as opposed to online ones) as I can touch the paper, smell the ink when reading the content," said Li.

But Li is part of an ever decreasing minority as more and more people are attracted by the ease and possibility of snaring a bargain through shopping online for books.

Tianze Bookstore was established in 1999. It's not small. It has a floor space of 120 square meters and more than 10,000 books.

Bian Hong, the owner of the bookshop, said online book sales and e-reading had put great pressure on traditional bookshops.

"The lowest discount we can provide is 20 percent off, while some new books are sold at 30 or 40 percent off the minute they came out online," said Bian.

In spite of her struggle to turn a profit, Bian has never thought of giving up her bookstore. When she once closed the store for 12 days for a stocktake, many regular customers approached her worrying that the shop might have closed.

Bian believes that traditional bookshops are not merely a place to sell books but also for people interested in books to communicate face-to-face.

"The shop also gives guidance. We know the readers' tastes after they buy several books so we can recommend new books catering for their interests," Bian said. "These humanized services are what online shops can't offer."

Xuehai Bookstore is a small boutique bookshop also in Tianjin. It is famous for selling foreign books and magazines not easy to find in other bookstores in the city.

Yue Hongliang, the director of Xuehai Bookstore, said he believes that traditional bookstores will not become extinct even though there were less of them now than before.

"What we could do now is to improve ourselves and find the advantages that other shops don't have," he said.

Source: Xinhua

VOL.59 NO.12 December 2010 Advertise on Site Contact Us