Chinese bookstore's closure a World Book Day stunt

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-04-24 12:34:05

A Chinese bookstore closed on Saturday, World Book Day, in a stunt its owner said was intended to encourage people to think of reading as a lifelong habit, rather than a fad for a day.

The Songshe bookstore in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province has eschewed the fanfare and heavy promotions of high-street and online rivals.

World Book Day has been organized by UNESCO since 1995. Many writers have weighed in on the importance of reading on this day and bookstores typically take it as a sales opportunity.

But Liu Lei, Songhe's owner, said the store's closure "would send out a powerful message."

There are some who seem to agree.

"It's as if mankind had not heard about books until today. Everybody is talking about reading on social networks," said avid reader Feng Jiantang. "People should read simply because they want to, not to impress others."

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