People read books the Sanlian Taofen Bookstore in Beijing, capital of China, at wee hours of April 9, 2014. The Sanlian Taofen Bookstore tried to open 24 hours a day on Tuesday. The trial operation will last for 10 days before the official business. (Xinhua/Wu Guocai)
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BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- The first 24-hour bookstore in Beijing opened but did not close its doors on Tuesday, to the applause of a bookish public.
The Sanlian Taofen Bookstore, owned by China Publishing Group Corp., announced on Tuesday that 10-day trial of the 24-hour bookstore from Tuesday until April 18, and if the trial goes smoothly the store may never close again.
Manager Zhang Zuozhen said 3 million yuan ( 480,000 U.S.dollars) has been invested in the operation. The news was met with a warm welcome from netizens. "Yi Ren DU" said "the bookstore has guts... in an era when people read less than four books a year."
According to a survey by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication in 2013, Chinese people read 4.39 books per capita in the past year, a figure that trails far behind major developed countries. The reading rate has actually dropped from 60.4 percent in 2000 to 54.9 percent in 2012.
"The 24-hour bookstore has shed a slim of light on the nation's pursuit of intellectual nourishment," Netizen "RunEmma" said.
Established in 1996, the bookstore is in the Dongcheng District of downtown Beijing.