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Some Observations


Observations of Hong Kong bookstores

* Female browsers always outnumber male.
* Bookstores are well-lit and have fancy decor. Eslite in Causeway Bay resembles a museum. (Picture above)
* Much more than selling books. Think organic soaps. Incenses. Tea leaves.
* Given the high rents bookstores have to sell more than just books to break even.
* Books are saran-wrapped to discourage prolonged browsing.
* Weight-loss books always top the bestseller list.
* Big on movie tie-in fiction.
* Banned books in China mostly likely in stock.
* UK editions are very popular.
* Scanty seats.
* Fiction usually divided into literature, classics, and general. Sometimes confusing with overlap.
* The latest sub-category is Women’s Fiction. All the shades of greys can be found in this section.
* Bookstores can be as noisy as subway stations.


6 Responses

  1. That’s really interesting. It’s nice to know what book stores are like in other countries. I have been in countries where books are wrapped in plastic. Really puts me off.

  2. I think Eslite was the bookstore I went to when I was in HK…I remember it looking like a museum.

    • Eslite aborted their 24-hour operation in Hong Kong because the sales were not enough to keep the store open. But they do have the best selection in English-language books.

  3. Very interesting post. Are there national chains like in the US?

    Have never been to Hong Kong other than through movies and books, but I would really like to see it one day. And you make boosktores sound like an interesting place to visit.

    Great post. Enjoyed learning about it. Thanks

    • Eslite is a Taiwanese bookstore chain that has expansion plan throughout Asia. It’s more a “living emporium”with books, magazines, teas, stationery, and arts.

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