Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Killed by Books (2)

I read the book (活在書堆下) in one go last evening. As a result I slept late and went through today like a zombie. The book is a collection of articles about Law (羅志華) and the bookshop (青文書屋). Everybody was saying essentially the same thing. Very repetitive. But I want to get a feeling of what people think of him and what he did.

The bookshop nurtured many writers and readers. It was an important part of the literary scene for a while but had been in decline for many years before it was forced to close. He was not a shrewd businessman. He was not even a writer himself. He sold books, helped readers find books, and helped writers publish books. Everyone appreciated his dedication to books. But ... he was fighting for a lost cause. Few people in Hong Kong read. And even fewer read literature, history and philosophy. He had fewer and fewer customers.

I wonder what he is thinking now. Is it enough that he persevered in doing what he believed in? Even though few people seemed to care?

In principle we should care only whether we are doing the right thing, and not how people think of us. But we are social animals, and we crave recognition, acceptance, and respect.


田园树 said...

Now I find it is tired to read.
Nowadays we have less time, I think.

StephenC said...

Please see the "Theory of Reading Habits in Hong Kong".