Physical bookstores become city cultural landmarks

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, was awarded the title of “book capital of the world” in 2011. It is full of strong cultural tradition and flavor. People say there’s no need to look for books in Buenos Aires because they’re everywhere. Avila bookstore is located on a busy street corner in the old city of Bushi. There is a small wooden door between the two glass windows. Above the wooden door is the sign of “Avila bookstore”. On the more prominent position is another name “College Bookstore”. This seemingly inconspicuous bookstore, founded in 1785, is the oldest bookstore in Argentina.

When the bookstore was established, it was called “College Bookstore” because it was close to the Royal College of San Carlos. In the 1860s, the Royal College of San Carlos was renamed the National College of Buenos Aires. It is one of the most famous schools in Latin America. Perhaps because it is close to this famous university, many scholars and politicians patronize the bookstore, including Argentinian literary giant Borges. In the 1980s, bookstores were in trouble and faced with the risk of going out of business. In 1994, Miguel Avila, an Argentine bookseller, acquired the bookstore, retaining its traditional architectural style, and named it “Avila bookstore” by his surname.

Today, the bookstore has become a national historic site. There is not much space in the bookstore. Several old bookshelves are full of old books. In Avila’s view, the cultural gene given by history is the basis for the continuation of bookstore life. “Academy Bookstore” once sold Argentina’s first newspaper, and now it also displays a large number of history, philosophy, literature, drama books, including many first issues and out of print. In addition, the bookstore also has many university and research association publications franchise.

With the rapid development of e-commerce economy, Avila admitted that physical bookstores have indeed suffered a great impact, “but we have a long history, rich books and loyal customers.”. Avila explained that in the field of history and literature, bookstores have many exclusive materials, many professional readers prefer it, and teachers and students from surrounding universities are also frequent visitors here.

During the period of epidemic prevention and control, bookstores were closed, but telephone ordering business was retained and delivery service was opened. Avila said the bookstore has a close relationship with readers. During this period, the reading volume of the readers in the surrounding communities increased significantly. Although the total turnover of the bookstore decreased, it was still able to maintain its operation. Now the bookstore has reopened. Through increasing the promotion efforts and launching pre purchase cards and other activities, the turnover of the bookstore is gradually increasing.

Avila bookstore has a long history and excellent strength. Its value is not only to sell books, but also to preserve history and culture. In this book capital of the world, people who go to bookstores to buy books are also experiencing the style of the city and the precipitation of history. As an introduction to Avila Bookstore said, this is a quiet place on the busy streets of Buenos Aires, so that readers can indulge in books.

(from Buenos Aires)

Lelo bookstore, Portugal

Book sales driven by ticket deduction

Our correspondent in Spain Jiang Bo

The unique spiral wooden steps, the gorgeous painted glass ceiling, the towering bookshelves full of books Located in Porto, Portugal, Lelo Bookstore integrates literature and art, and has been repeatedly rated as one of the “most beautiful bookstores in the world” by the media.

Lelo bookstore was officially opened in January 1906. It is one of the oldest bookstores in Porto. Since its completion, it has become the pride of Porto citizens and a local cultural landmark for its unique design. The increasing popularity has also brought new problems to the operation of bookstores. Many visitors to the store just punch in and take photos instead of buying books. At the same time, the excessive flow of people in the store also seriously affects the book purchasing experience, leading to the gradual loss of customers and the decline of the bookstore operation.

In order to get rid of the business difficulties, since July 2015, Lelo Bookstore began to collect tickets from tourists. Visitors need to spend 5 euro to buy tickets. If they buy books in the bookstore, the tickets can be deducted from the book money. Bookstore operators believe that this measure can effectively keep the number of tourists within a reasonable range, and the ticket income can also be used for the daily maintenance of bookstores and various cultural activities. At the same time, ticket deduction and other measures also help to turn tourists into customers and drive the growth of book sales. The bookstore also launched a membership card activity, and the annual fee of 30 Euros can also be deducted from the book money. Members can enter the store and participate in all kinds of activities held in the store free of charge at any time. Since the implementation of the ticket policy for more than five years, the annual sales volume of books in the store has increased from 600000 to 700000, with an average of 1900 books sold every day.

新年期间,巴黎塞纳河畔的莎士比亚书店比往常更热闹了一些。疫情防控期间,进店需遵循严格的防疫要求,但门外仍有许多人排队等待进入。有书迷在门口合影留念,有人前来为家人朋友挑选节日礼物,还有人来取已在书店官网上购买的书籍。在电子书籍飞速发展的当下,这家百年书店始终坚持品质和情怀并重,积极探索复合型经营模式,继续滋养着无数文学爱好者。

莎士比亚书店开设于1919年,以出售英文书籍为主,二战期间曾被迫关闭。1951年,美国人乔治·惠特曼在巴黎圣母院对面重新开设了莎士比亚书店。和一些大型书店相比,这家书店门面看上去不甚起眼,门口悬挂的一幅莎士比亚肖像画透出不凡的气质。走进书店,顶高的书架上摆满了各类书籍,《老人与海》《堂吉诃德》《包法利夫人》等经典作品摆放在入门左侧醒目位置。沿着木质楼梯走上二层,目之所及是密密麻麻的硬皮旧书,历史感扑面而来。

书店现任经营者西尔维娅·惠特曼是乔治的女儿。她认为,莎士比亚书店能“存活至今并经营得还不错”的主要原因之一,是文学情怀的“加持”效应。自开业以来,书店接待和收留了多位当时还未成名的作家,美国作家菲茨杰拉德、海明威,爱尔兰作家詹姆斯·乔伊斯等,都曾是这家书店的“座上宾”。在《流动的盛宴》中,海明威描述这里是一个“温暖、愉快的地方”。这家书店渐渐成为法国的文化地标之一,也是游客打卡的重要旅游景点。

书籍的高品质和多样性是莎士比亚书店吸引读者的另一重要原因。西尔维娅表示,对于一些经典书籍,书店坚持选择最好的印刷版本,力图带给读者最佳阅读体验。在图书引进方面,书店不仅会与大型出版商保持良好合作,同时也会与一些独立出版商合作,引进许多小众且各具特色的书籍。这使得莎士比亚书店不仅成为巴黎最大的英文书店之一,也是“书虫们”淘书的好去处。

书店定期举行的英语作家读书会、读者见面会和小型音乐会等活动,也为书店聚揽了人气。自2003年以来,书店每两年便会举办莎士比亚书店文化节活动,将音乐、戏剧等与文学结合起来,并邀请作者现场朗读作品。“我们希望通过这些方式使书籍与读者之间建立永久的连接。”西尔维娅说。

疫情防控期间,像许多实体书店一样,莎士比亚书店也面临巨大的经营压力。“营收下降80%,还拖欠了租金。”去年10月28日,书店在网络上向读者发求助信寻求支援。求助信发出后,世界各地读者纷纷通过网络购书予以支持,书店每天在线订单较疫情前增长数十倍。人们生活和消费方式的转变也促使这家百年书店加快了线上转型的步伐。除进一步完善网站购书服务外,书店也在社交媒体上积极与读者保持互动、宣传新书。

在书店二楼留言墙上,来自世界各地的读者留下了五彩缤纷的留言条,用不同语言写下对书籍和人生的思考。“线上销售不能完全替代实体书店的存在。”西尔维娅说,莎士比亚书店在岁月和文化的浸润下形成了“自己的魔力”,等待读者在书店中亲自体会和感受。

(本报巴黎电)

阿根廷阿维拉书店

众多独家资料吸引大量专业读者

本报驻阿根廷记者 姚明峰

阿根廷首都布宜诺斯艾利斯曾获评2011年“世界图书之都”称号,这里处处洋溢着浓厚的文化传统和文化气息。人们说,在布宜诺斯艾利斯不需要寻找书籍,因为书籍在这里无处不在。阿维拉书店坐落于布市老城区一个繁华的街角。两块玻璃橱窗间有一扇木制小门,木门上方是“阿维拉书店”的招牌,其上更显眼的位置还写有另外一个名字“学院书店”。这所看起来并不显眼的书店,始建于1785年,是阿根廷历史最悠久的书店。

书店建立之时,因紧邻皇家圣卡洛斯学院,被称为“学院书店”。19世纪60年代,皇家圣卡洛斯学院更名为国立布宜诺斯艾利斯学院,是拉丁美洲极负盛名的学校之一。或许因为紧邻这座著名学府,书店有不少文人政客光顾,包括阿根廷文学巨匠博尔赫斯等。20世纪80年代,书店经营出现困境,一度面临歇业风险。1994年,阿根廷书商米格尔·阿维拉收购了书店,保留了传统的建筑风格,同时以自己的姓氏将其命名为“阿维拉书店”。

如今,这所书店已成为国家历史遗迹。书店空间不大,几张旧式书架上是满满的旧书。在阿维拉看来,历史赋予的文化基因是书店生命得以延续的根本。“学院书店”出售过阿根廷第一份报纸,现在店内还陈列着大量历史、哲学、文学、戏剧类书籍,其中有许多为首刊和绝版。此外,书店还拥有诸多大学和研究协会出版物的专营权。

在电商经济飞速发展的当下,阿维拉坦言实体书店确实受到了不小的冲击,“但我们有悠久的历史、丰富的书籍和忠实的客户”。阿维拉解释道,在历史文学领域,书店有众多独家资料,许多专业读者对这里颇为偏爱,周边大学的师生也是这里的常客。

疫情防控期间,书店曾关门歇业,但保留了电话订购业务并开启了送货服务。阿维拉介绍,书店与读者的关系十分紧密。这段时间,周边社区的读者阅读量大幅增加,虽然书店总营业额有所下降,但仍能够维持运转。现在书店已重新开门营业,通过加大促销力度,推出预购卡等活动,书店营业额正在逐渐增加。

悠久的历史传承和过硬的自身实力让阿维拉书店存续至今。它的价值已不仅是售卖图书,也在于留存历史和文化。在这座世界图书之都,前往书店购书的人,也在体会城市的格调,感悟历史的沉淀。正如阿维拉书店的一份介绍中所说,这是在布宜诺斯艾利斯繁华街头的一个安静去处,让读者可以沉醉在书籍之中。

(本报布宜诺斯艾利斯电)

葡萄牙莱罗书店

门票抵扣购书款带动销量增长

本报驻西班牙记者 姜 波

造型别致的螺旋木质台阶、绚丽夺目的彩绘玻璃天花板、高耸书架上琳琅满目的书籍……位于葡萄牙波尔图的莱罗书店,将文学与艺术融为一体,多次被媒体评为“全球最美书店”之一。

莱罗书店于1906年1月正式开业,是波尔图历史最悠久的书店之一。自建成之日起,就因其独特的设计成为波尔图市民的骄傲,也成为当地的文化地标。不断提升的知名度,也给书店经营带来新的问题。许多到店游客只为打卡及拍照留念,而非购书消费。同时,店内人流量过大也严重影响购书体验,导致顾客逐渐流失,书店经营渐渐陷入颓势。

为了摆脱经营困境,自2015年7月起,莱罗书店开始向游客征收门票。游客入内参观需要花费5欧元购买门票,如果在书店内购书,门票可以抵扣书款。书店经营者认为,该措施可以有效地将游客数量保持在合理范围内,门票收入也可用于书店的日常维护及举办各种文化活动等。同时,门票抵扣购书款等举措也有助于将游客转化为顾客,带动书籍销售量的增长。书店还推出了会员卡活动,30欧元的年费同样可以抵扣书款。会员可随时免费入店及参加店内举办的各类活动。门票政策实施5年多来,店内书籍年销售量从6万册增长至70万册,平均每天卖出1900册图书。

形式多样的文化活动是莱罗书店的一大特点。书店有专门空间用来举办小型展览、新书发布会、读者见面会和文学研讨会等文化活动,为作者、艺术家和文化爱好者提供了交流平台。2017年和2018年,莱罗书店连续两年举办“中国日”活动,向读者重点推荐有关中国的书籍,包括莫言、余华等中国作家作品的葡语译著,还有志愿者在现场向参与者发放介绍中国的小册子。活动期间,书店特别邀请旅葡华人音乐家演奏中国经典传统民乐,受到当地民众的欢迎。2020年6月,莱罗书店收购了当地一家剧院,计划未来以此为依托举办更多、更丰富的文化活动。

去年4月,莱罗书店专门开设了驾车购书服务。每天,书店会精心挑选一本书在社交网络上公布,感兴趣的读者可以发邮件登记,并在隔天上午10时至12时开车前往书店取书,工作人员会通过窗口将书籍递交给读者。

如今,文学研讨会和新书发布会等新一轮文化活动已经排上书店日程。疫情防控期间,尽管大部分活动改为线上举行,但仍吸引了众多读者参加。作为波尔图的文化名片,莱罗书店将继续为这座城市的文旅发展注入活力。

(本报马德里电)

日本有邻堂书店

为顾客提供丰富服务和多元化体验

本报驻日本记者 刘军国

“尽管书店的面积不大,但我们想成为每位顾客的心安之处。”这是日本有邻堂书店的经营理念。记者每周都要去这家书店一次,翻阅最新出版的书籍和杂志,不知不觉就会在里面待上一个多小时。不管是周末还是平日,总能看到三三两两的顾客在挑选书籍或商品。

有邻堂书店创办于1909年,如今在东京都、神奈川县、千叶县等地经营有40多家书店。记者常去的这家有邻堂书店位于东京都涩谷区惠比寿车站大楼五层。从惠比寿车站检票口出站,不到一分钟就可到达书店。除了书籍、杂志之外,这里还销售各种办公用品及其他杂货。2014年,书店又辟出空间引进了咖啡店,读者可以一边品尝咖啡,一边享受阅读的快乐。

在有邻堂书店,人们可以感受到一年四季的变化。元旦之前,书店会开设专区销售新年贺卡;夏天,柜台又会摆上折扇等消暑用品。不同季节的应季杂货各具特色,令人印象深刻。

在有邻堂书店会长松信裕看来,书店要长久发展,必须要保有个性和特点。对这家有着百年历史的书店来说,为消费者提供丰富的服务正是其重要特点之一。自创业以来,有邻堂书店一直秉承为顾客提供多元化体验的理念。早在上世纪20年代,位于横滨的首家门店就设有咖啡厅,店内还有个小舞台用来举办各类活动。1959年,这家门店在改建翻新后增设了餐厅和画廊,以满足顾客的多样化需求。纵览有邻堂书店的发展历程,除了书籍以外,公司销售的商品覆盖体育用品、文化用品、家居用品等众多品类。

有邻堂书店也在探索打造新型门店。2018年3月,书店在东京日比谷地区开设了一家面积近800平方米的概念店——日比谷中央市场。店内聚合了图书、服饰、生活杂货、餐饮、美发等多种业态,除了书店空间之外,还包含居酒屋、理发店、眼镜店等不同空间。走进书店,像是走进一个琳琅满目的集市,顾客除了阅读购买书籍,还能享受多种购物体验。

日本图书销售在1996年达到高点,此后,受经济低迷、出生率降低、电子书籍销量上涨以及国民阅读量减少等诸多因素影响,实体书店的销售额一直在减少。有邻堂书店也面临着销量下降等挑战。为此,书店在坚持把图书销售作为本业的同时,通过与大型网购平台合作销售办公用品,成功拓宽了销路。如今,办公用品销售收入已成为该书店的重要收入来源。

在不断拓展书店经营领域的同时,有邻堂书店始终重视图书销售。“在书架上寻找书籍时,可以看到书架上摆放的各类书目,能够发现以前从未了解过的新世界。我想这是在书店选书购书的一大魅力。”松信裕说。

(本报东京电)

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