customers,” says Lin Dayan, an October Time manager. “We offer them

a place where they can get in touch with their dreams.”上海419论坛品茶微信

Another 24-hour bookshop in Beijing that allows customers to get in touch with their dreams, and with the past, too, is China Boo

上海419论坛kstore Yanchi Building, renowned for its collections of ancient books and precious secondhand books. The build

ing in which the shop is located in a restored part of the Di’anmen Gate of old Beijing, dates back to the 15th century.上海419论坛

On July 20, four years to the day when the shop opened, half of about a dozen desks in its reading-for

-free zones were occupied. Outside, the din of the nearby Shichahai areas and hutong were dying

上海419论坛品茶微信down; inside, some were reading the shop’s books and some were working or studying.

One shop assistant and one guard were on duty, their shifts due to end at 8 am the following day, and they seemed happy to

offer assistance to customers. In these shops that help can go beyond locating books, because apart from having cafes, a上海419论坛

nd selling gift items, some are turning into venues for all kinds of social activities.

In Page One Qianmen there are occasional mini concerts in the evening.上海419论坛品茶微信

“For 24-hour bookstores, the operating challenges run into the second half of the night, says Zhang Lei, also known as San S

hi, a veteran bookstore planner and critic. “The solutions include running multiple businesses.上海419论坛

“Midnight bookstores are like large study areas, a third space in addition to the home a

nd the workplace. People actually do a lot of things in bookshops; they go there with relatives, meet friends in them a

上海419论坛品茶微信nd treat them like well-known tourist attractions, taking the usual kinds of photos.”

Zhang is skeptical about the chances of unstaffed bookshops, because one of the things that 24-hour bookshops have goin

g for them in the relentless battle against online bookselling is that they bring people together, he says.

“If you ask me, bookshops with no people seem a bit vulnerable.”

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