Man with a funny plan
As Chinese society is developing rapidly, people face a lot of pressure, so they are looking for ways to relax and reduce stress. This is why Qi Hang, 50, wanted to open a bookstore on the theme of humor.
A nine-minute walk from Beijing’s Chaoyangmen Subway Station, a branch of the Xinhua Bookstore Group, Humor Bookstore, with an avocado-green facade, is one of the first such-themed bookstores in the country.
Upon entering the bookstore, one can see a table, on which are stacks of children’s books. Above, hang curtains that carry words that translate to “to be happy is everyone’s rigid request”.
On the shelves of the 111 square meter store, one can find books by domestic and foreign writers: essays by Wang Zengqi and Li Juan, works by crosstalk master Hou Baolin, a collection of Chinese crosstalk works , The good soldier Svejk: and his fortunes during the world war by Czech comedian and satirist Jaroslav Hasek, Bream gives me hiccups by American actor Jesse Eisenberg, Six Shakespeare plays, The story of a shipwrecked sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Bridget Jones Diaries: A novel by Helen Fielding, the volume of satirical humor of The Complete Collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s Short stories etc.
Besides the humorous or satirical works, there are also biographies and autobiographies of comedians and satirists, such as A good moment to be born: a memory: 1935-1975 by British writer David Lodge and a collection of diaries by Chinese fairy tale writer Zhang Tianyi, as well as books that explore the logic of humor such as The code of humor: a global search for what makes things funny.
Stickers with handwritten information are used to present the writers. For example, “If you think life is boring, read Wang Zengqi” or “Li Juan is a tailor, but also China’s most humorous essayist, certainly the most. The store owner highly recommends her ”.
In total, there are over 1,000 books of over 700 titles on display at the bookstore, and Qi says he has read 80 percent of them.