Richmond book lovers inspired through Chinese book fair

The 2019 Chinese Book Fair will return to Lansdowne Center in Richmond for the 15th consecutive year.

Local book lovers will be offering nearly a million books range from Chinese classic novels to top-selling books in North America(with Chinese translation) this year.

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A few highlights at this year's book fair include Dream of the Red Chamber, one of China's four great classical novels, and Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, a nonfiction book written by journalist John Carreyrou, who has won the Pulitzer Prize twice.

The annual book fair provides a channel for local Chinese immigrants to familiarize themselves with the western culture, and also help Richmondiates whose mother tongue is English to understand the essence of Chinese culture, according to Joy Li, the manager of Xinhua bookstore's Canada branch.

"For me, meeting bibliophile of different cultural backgrounds is lots of fun," said Li.

"They could help you step into the minds of people you would never get the chance to meet; they could also make you feel less alone in the world."

The bookfair has gained popularity in different Canadian cities during the past few years.

Lots of Chinese immigrants would drop by at the bookfair to purchase books when they visit Richmond, even including few immigrants from Seattle, Li added.

Also, Li believes that books could help build a strong community of friends. Some book lovers whose first language is English also befriended with Li after visiting the bookfair.

"One of my clients could read Chinese classics without using any dictionary," Li recalled.

"When I expressed my admiration for him, he replied to me in fluent Mandarin by saying that he was trying to make progress step by step. "

And this is not a single case.

Another Li's long-term client with German roots told Li about his passion for Chinese culture, and also showed Li his home decoration with Chinese screens and room dividers.

"It's amazing to see lots of western friends are also interested in Chinese culture," added Li.

"Language always represents the culture of a particular social group; it might be hard for you to fully master a culture until you have immersed yourself in the language."

Li has always been a lover of books from an early age, while she is traveling or relaxing, she would often read books or visit libraries in both China and Canada.

"I've been a book sharer and enjoy reading good books and then introducing them to people saying that 'you have to read this," Li said.

"As we thrive in the digital age and face cut-throat competition from online bookselling business, running a bookstore with brick and mortar might become more difficult than before.

"But the positive feedback and love from readers have encouraged me to keep going."

The event will be taking place inside Richmond's Lansdowne Centre from Aug.16th to Sep.15th. The exhibition will be free and open to the general public from Monday to Sunday.


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