What we read shapes the way we see the world, understands human beings and influences how we live our lives. In the digital era, we have more platforms for read-ing and we may have wider imagination about what reading is.
But what are we talking about when we talk about “reading?”
I myself am a writer. I write books. Early this year, I began to run an independent bookstore which has become the hottest bookstore in Taipei now. It is not only because of the books we sell, but also because of the reading and book events we hold almost everyday. We try hard to find different ways to talk about books and reading.
Every bookstore is a magic castle, as every book has magic inside: through books we travel around the world, we get to know the secret of the universe, and we dive into the minds and souls of human beings.
The first issue of “Milü” is about reading, especially “Reading in China”. In this little magic booklet, we introduce some new and interesting trends about reading around the world; explore how reading affects people of different professions (a business executive who is also an expert in art history, an anthropologist and writer of food culture, a free jazz saxophonist living in Beijing, a curator for independent book fairs in Guangzhou…) We try to analyze the interrelation between words and images, symbols and language; and present art works about consumptions of knowledge and daily objects. In this issue, our focus is on contemporary China: what are most Chinese people reading now-adays and how do they read? What is the state of digital reading and situation of children in less developed rural area? These are not only the phenomenon of reading, they also reveal deeply the ideology and value system beneath the rise of this new great power; the aspiration and disillusion of ordinary people and the strength and weakness of this country.
You can see a lot of things from what one person reads to what a country reads. That’s their status of mind.
This is why we care about reading.
We want to know you, our dear reader. We want to know those people who are having similar interests and taste like us.
Yes, we are reading you as you read us.