Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Heavy Reading

Finnegans Wake - Chinese Translation

Finnegans Wake – Chinese Translation

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of literature is aware that some books are more heavy going than others.   At one end of the scale we may have something like James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake which many readers have declared unreadable (they’re wrong).

At the lighter end are a zillion beach books, Harry Potter and that sadomasochistic, grey nonsense.

However, in an astonishingly rare outbreak of socialist equality and all that, one Liuzhou book store has (nearly) leveled the playing field.

Instead of pricing books by literary worth or popular appeal, they have turned economic theory on its head and are selling books by weight, just like cabbages or pork.

The shop is in the underground shopping mall beneath Longcheng Lu 龙城路, and is selling remaindered books for ¥15 per 500g and up.

heavy books

The sign above the entrance reads:

heavy sign

which translates as “Cheap books all sold by weight- 15 yuan / 500g upwards”.

(The small hand written sign underneath is a warning that the shop is monitored by security cameras and suggesting you behave yourself.)

The stock is all in Chinese and varies from translations of modern novels by such writers as Gabriel García Márquez and Haruki Murakami, through to cartoon novels, cookery books and other nonfiction. 

I picked up a copy of a book on Picasso, priced at ¥100 on the cover, but after it was weighed I was charged a mere ¥49 (¥20 / 500g. Western decadent art carries a premium.)


Seems Amazon may have missed a trick.

. This entry was posted on Friday, August 28th, 2015 at 11:18 pm and is filed under Art, Literature, Liuzhou Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Heavy Reading”

  1. Jim Mahler Says:

    The thought of slogging through Finnegans Wake in Chinese is truly frightening.

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