Asian Bookstore Forum 2018 was held on Chengdu

With the theme of “Symbiosis of Bookstores, Aesthetics of the City”, the Asian Bookstore Forum 2018 witnessed its grand opening in Chengdu on the August 24.

The opening ceremony in the morning was graced by many distinguished figures from China’s contemporary literature world, such as Li Jingze, Vice-chairman of China Writers Association, A’Lai, Chairman of Sichuan Writer Association and winner of the Maodun Literature Prize, Zhou Guoping, eminent scholar, writer, and philosopher in contemporary China, Yang Hongying, renowned writer in children’s literature, Wu Xiaobo, established financial writer, and Jiang Fangzhou, Associate Editor of New Weekly and winner of the People’s Literature Awards.   

The event also attracted influential business leaders from the industry, including Dan Jie, Chairman of Yanjiyou Group, Chen Yantao, General Manager of JIC Group, Wei Hongjian, founder of Wanbook Store, Yang Yi, founder of Clessence Bookstore, Liu Er’xi, founder of 1200bookshop, Wang Xuan, Chairman and General Manager of Open House Bookstore, Ishikawa Ikuko, General Manager of Beijing Poplar Culture Project Co., Ltd.      

Historically, Chengdu has long been a center of literary writing. It has led the “Top 10 Digital Reading City” ranking consecutively for 3 years and was also crowned China’s “Capital of Bookstores” in 2017. The 3463 bookstores dotting the city are not only spiritual oasis for its people, but are also the shaping forces for its unique city aesthetics. With aspiration to be “China’s First Literary Capital”, the Asian Bookstore Forum 2018 was unveiled in Chengdu by bookstore representatives, writers and scholars, industry leaders and notable public figures from across Asia.    

Data for reference: significant cumulative reading time of bookstore-related content on mobile platforms

According to Jinri Toutiao, one of China’s largest mobile platform of news and contents, bookstores are receiving increasing attention from the public from the period of Jun 2017 to Jun 2018. There were more than 380,000 bookstore-related articles with 2.8 billion reads, whose cumulative reading time would have exceeded that used to read the Chinese Classic Dream of the Red Chamber more than 790,000 times. New bookstore representatives, such as SDX Joint Publishing Company and Yanjiyou were amongst the top 10 most followed bookstores on the platform. Meanwhile, Chengdu was listed as one of the top 10 literary cities in Asia.    

At the event, Xu Zhiming, Senior Consultant of Bookdao.com, released the ranking of the number of bookstores in Chinese cities, and Chengdu ranked the second, only after Beijing.   

Hearing the number, Li Jingze, Vice-chairman of China Writers Association, shared his opinions on the co-existence of bookstores and cities. As a writer, he believed that bookstores held special significance. A study is a writer’s home, whilst a bookstore is his/her world – an oasis for spiritual and aesthetic nourishment. “Just now, I heard a number, 3463 – the number of bookstores in Chengdu”, he said, “On hearing this number, I almost immediately fell in love with Chengdu.” “We writers will not decline to be Chengdu people simply due to the sheer number of bookstores.” he continued, “there is no better place than to hold the Forum in a beautiful city like Chengdu”. In closing, he wished that “anyone with aspirations could live in an ideal city, with bookstores lining the streets and around the corners. Chengdu is such a city.”

Food for thought: over 50 luminaries’ idea on the co-existence of bookstores and cities

If the big data released in the morning is refreshing, then the breakout sessions in the afternoon are enlightening. Over 50 luminaries, including distinguished figures in literature, established industry leaders and broad representatives of bookstores across Asia met in different breakout sessions to discuss and explore the co-existence of bookstores and cities from wide-ranging perspectives, such as literature/writing and life, urban culture and life aesthetics in economic thinking, and the shifting roles of bookstores in city development etc.  

Chengdu has been home to literature and poets since ancient time, as reflected in ancient poems such as “all poets in China come to the Shu Kingdom (Sichuan)”. Nowadays, the local government is working tirelessly to promote a creative and innovative city coupled with vibrant culture development. Building a reasonably distributed and multi – functional bookstore eco-system, creating an aesthetic city map, and reshaping the city’s form are important steps towards building Chengdu into “China’s first literary center”. The Asian Bookstore Forum 2018 serves as a great platform to gather industry insiders from bookstores, publishers, culture and designing arena to explore the potential of literary development roadmap for the city.   

Achievement highlights: awards for writers, publishers and bookstores

The Asian Bookstore Forum 2018 is not only a feast of thoughts for the city and its people, the awards conferred also recognize the hard work and achievements of bookstores, publishers, designers and writers. The selection is based on the sales data of major bookstores and big data from internet platforms. The winners of each category are as follow: 

Bookstore

Yanjiyou

The Most Influential Bookstore 2017

Open House

The Most Well-designed Bookstore 2017

1200bookshop

Bookstore with the Most Potential 2017

SDX Joint Publishing Company

Bookstore with the Most Distinctive City Features 2017

Wanbook Store

The Most Unique Bookstore 2017

Clessence Bookstore

The Most Stylish Bookstore 2017  

POPLAR KID’S REPUBLIC picture book store

The Most Well-designed Kids’ Bookstore 2017

JIC Group

The Most Innovative Bookstore 2017

 

Publisher

CITIC Press Group

The Most Influential Press Award

GUOMAI

Vibrant New Generation Award

Thinkingdom Media Group

The Best Literary Press Award

Xiron 

The Most Comprehensive Press Award

China Machine Press

The Best Science and Technology Press Award  

Publishing House of Chongqing University

The Best University Press Award

Dolphin Media

The Best Broadcaster of Children’s Literature Award

Shanghai People’s Publishing House

The Best Social Science Press Award

Shanghai Dookbook

The Best Progress Award

CS Booky Press

The Most Market Trending Award

 

Designer

Shuhei Aoyama

Cross-border Designer of the Year 2017

Lu Wei

The Best Designer of Humanistic Care 2017

Chen Junjia

Innovative Urban Space Designer 2017

 

Writer

Zhai Yongming

The Most Influential Poet 2017

Bai Cha

The Most Popular Comics Artist 2017

Yang Hongying

The Best Creative Kids Literature 2017

Zhou Guoping

The Best Essayist 2017

Zhuang Zuyi

The Best Cross-border Writer 2017

He Xi

Science Fiction Writer of the Year 2017

Zhang Haochen

The Most Popular New Generation Writer 2017  

Jiang Fangzhou

Young Writer of the Year 2017

Wu Xiaobo

The Most Influential Financial Writer 2017

Wu Sheng

Business Writer of the Year 2017

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