Longfong Secondhand Bookstore
Longfong Secondhand Bookstore
◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting
◎Photos by Guo Chen-jhih
Wu Ming-da became addicted to reading when he was seventeen years old, studying at night school at Kaohsiung Municipal Haicing Vocational High School of Technology and Commerce. He is now Longfong Secondhand Bookstore's owner. He admits he would often skip classes to read fictitious works, such as author Jin Yong's (nom de plume of Dr. Louis Cha Leung-yung) martial arts books. Even today, he can still be found reading a variety of works as he sits at a desk near the front of the bookstore. He is also enthusiastic about sharing the knowledge he has acquired through reading such a wide range of books.
Mr. Wu had previously worked as a lathe technician for seven years before he and girlfriend Liou Yu-ci ventured into running the bookstore together. At 26, he had only been working at Longfong Secondhand Bookstore for a month when they took it over from the former proprietor. They have now managed the bookstore for over ten years. He explains that it has been a unique experience managing the bookstore and has enjoyed reading and categorizing the new stock.
Mr. Wu admits he has been greatly influenced by Jin Yong's books about the martial arts, which he believes has made him more chivalrous and given him the enthusiasm and persistence to manage the secondhand bookstore. Ms. Liou (Mr. Wu's girlfriend) has a passion for Han Chinese fashion, and together they have collected many used books on the subject. They have even used these books to design and sew traditional Han Chinese outfits that they used as the bookstore's uniform.
One of the things the bookstore did was to host interesting events based on their passions, including a traditional Han Chinese "Coming-of-age Ceremony" where they made and wore traditional Han Chinese outfits. Many customers even got involved with the sewing and clothing preparation. This is a way Mr. Wu and Ms. Liou form relationships with their clients.
Longfong Secondhand Bookstore maintains a wide variety of books. Mr. Wu enjoys reading many of them before they are sold, widening his horizons and interests. He admits he gains a great deal of life influence from a wide range of reading. However, there was one time this great diversity actually got him into some trouble. Back in 2009, the bookstore came under investigation by the Prosecutors Office for selling adult comic books without an established adult book zone. He received a non-prosecutorial disposition, but it taught him that he should gain a greater knowledge of the law.
Aside from his passion for Han Chinese fashion, sewing and martial arts books, he is also passionate about psychology. He has read all of Carl Jung's books and has developed a rich collection of his works. The bookstore also has a large section of classical literature, including Hung-Fan Bookstore's pocketbooks, which are popular with customers.
"Books have long been reliable resources to acquire knowledge, yet it is inevitable that most books will eventually vanish or become outdated," says Mr. Wu. He is not particularly worried about the increasing trend of electronic-books. He has often watched discarded books processed in paper-recycling processing plants. He laments the disappearance of books, yet Mr. Wu is confident that readers will discover books on his shelves that will inspire and delight them. "I see clients visit the bookstore to read the same books time and again and leave the bookstore satisfied," he explains. Everyone is welcome to read the books at Longfong Secondhand Bookstore and believes quintessential success comes from customers taking away great memories and knowledge from the books that they get to read.
||Longfong Secondhand Bookstore
Address：No.35, Nanzih Rd., Nanzih Dist., Kaohsiung City