On May 6, the 3-day “Bookstore Force: Chengdu International Bookstores Forum 2016” began at Chengdu Fangsuo Bookstore. This forum gathered magnates, writers, scholars and artists of global bookstore industry to share operation experiences of physical bookstores, talk about design of city public culture space, and discuss about operations of physical bookstores and future development trend.
As known by us, it was unprecedented that this international forum gathered dozens of representatives from global and domestic most beautiful and influential bookstores. All these bookstores are the cultural landmarks of the cities even the countries where they are, including Shakespeare and Company from France, Waterstones – the largest chain bookstores of Britain, Britain Foyles Bookstore –old brand bookstore with over a centenary years, Netherlands Dominicanen Bookstore – called as the “Selexyz Dominicanen”, Cook & Book – known for its food books from Belgium, Australian Readings which won the name of “world best bookstore” in London Book Fair, Poplar Kid's Republic which engages in children’s picture books, and the Bookworm China which supports original literatures and insists on holding bookworm literature festival for 10 years.
The forum invited Matthieu de Montchalin - chairman of French Bookstore Association, Joel Becker - chairman of Australia Bookseller Association, Shi Hongjun - Executive Member of China CITIC Press and President of China CITIC Academy, and VIPs from national and regional cultural industries, literary publication and architectural design fields to talk with bookstore representatives crossing the boundary, they had discussions and sharing from different views, including “culture force field: to become the bookstore in the third space”, “design of city public culture space”, “the most beautiful time and memory of the bookstore” and “operations of physical bookstores and future trend of cultural industry development”.
At the opening ceremony on the same day, Fu Yonglin – deputy mayor of the people’s government of Chengdu, Wei Yashu – consul-general of Consulate General of the Republic of France in Chengdu, Guo Nanxi - consul-general of Consulate General of the Australia in Chengdu, lang Chen - cultural education consul of UK in Britain, James Daunt – general manager of British Waterstones and Mao Jihong – originator of Fangsuo Bookstore made speeches in succession, and shared the management experiences of physical bookstores of the countries and cities where they were.
During the address of opening ceremony, Fu Yonglin – deputy mayor of the people’s government of Chengdu expressed that he hoped to listen to the experience exchanges and theme sharing of the representatives of most beautiful bookstores from different countries and regions at Fangsuo Bookstore in Chengdu at the Chengdu International Bookstore Forum, they could jointly discuss, as the container to carry the knowledge, how current bookstores gather and create cultural value and promote the cultural force of the cities, how to turn to be the driving force of literature, art, music, drama and other cultural programs from the locality of cultural activity, and establish the bridge of understanding and friendship through such exchange and sharing, further drive the extensive cooperation among international bookstore industry, and promote the prosperity and development and cultural industry.
Mao Jihong – founder of Chengdu Fangsuo Bookstore, represented that “Chengdu is one city with deep cultural deposits, the reason for Fangsuo to hold the ‘bookstore force’ forum in Chengdu is to inject new force to Chengdu Culture and make more people to feel the warm brought by Chengdu bookstores.”
The forum host site “Fangsuo Chengdu Bookstore” had been awarded as one of the global most beautiful bookstores by AD Magazine after it opened in 2011. At the World Retail Congress 2016 which just finished, the bookstore won the Store Design of the Year 2016, this was the second time for Fangsuo to win this award after Gangzhou Branch won this prize in 2012.