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Mountaintop library in Chongqing lures book lovers

(China Daily)    09:24, April 25, 2018

Nbooks Club was opened in May 2016 by a young couple. The 700-square-meter bookstore receives many customers on both workdays and weekends, and its guesthouses are often sold out. [Photo/VCG]

CHONGQING-Book lovers have been flocking to the top of a mountain in Chongqing, but not for the breathtaking views. They go to read.

On World Reading Day, which fell on Monday, Nbooks Club started a two-day spring fair atop Nanshan Mountain in the southwestern municipality's Nan'an district. The fair includes book sales, reading salons, handicraft exhibitions, flowers, food and drinks.

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

Nbooks Club was opened in May 2016 by a young couple. The 700-square-meter bookstore receives many customers on both workdays and weekends, and its guesthouses are often sold out.

One year after opening, Cheng Yusi, Che Yun and their team built a new shop near the old one. It's equipped with a theater, a hall for ceremonies, an art gallery, a restaurant and private party rooms.

The bookshop's business success has injected new life into the neglected mountain community. Several cultural enterprises followed its lead and set up businesses on the mountain, which has now been developed into a cultural landmark.

"Many young people are attracted to come here. But we expect more visitors to arrive and boost the local economy," Che said, adding that cultural activities usually attract whole families, rather than only individual customers.

The local government has also provided support for the development of the bookshop. It gave the shop a bonus and introduced publishers for possible 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, and that they'll join us in the cultural and creative industry," Che said.

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

The district's public library has cooperated with 10 other businesses-cafes, private bookshops, tea houses and a tai chi club-to set up more than 150 mini libraries in local communities.

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

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(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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