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A man in China who spent 800,000 yuan (US$116,000) building a bookshop in a remote village on top of a mountain has captivated mainland social media after a video of the store was posted online.
Milestone Bookstore is located in a rural area of Zhejiang province in eastern China, surrounded by farmland and woodland atop a mountain, Dami Video reported.
The bookstore is built in the shape of the number seven and has a collection of 7,000 mostly literary books. The owner Jiang Libo, 57, is a self-styled poet who spent his money building the store over the past three years. He hopes to offer the local villagers, especially children, improved book access.
“Before my bookshop was built, the closest bookshop or library to this village was in a town about 30km away,” Jiang said.
“I found fewer and fewer people read books, and bookstores generally are struggling. However, I acted in contravention of this by opening a bookstore in a place with very few readers,” he said.
“My thought is: when villagers are idle, or kids are on holiday, they can come to read books. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Jiang did not think the adverse location of his bookstore was a problem for potential visitors. “People who really love books will come no matter where the bookstore is,” he said.
Mainland social media has been inspired by the story of Jiang’s bookstore, with the video receiving 4 million views on Douyin.
“How restful it is to read books on top of a mountain!” one person said.
“I admire his persistence in opening a dream store for the village folks,” another person commented.
But a third person said: “I don’t think spending 800,000 yuan on a mountaintop bookstore is necessary. It’s better to use this money to fund the education of kids from poor families. I am not saying it is a bad idea to open a bookshop there, but it is really not cost-effective.”