Zhengyang Bookstore claims to be the one and only bookstore in the city that dedicates its entire inventory to Beijing-related books and historical documents. You can find nearly anything you want to know about the city within the store walls.
With a niche business and a charming ambience, Zhengyang keeps itself afloat by attracting curious readers and supplying materials to the Capital Library of China.
Founder and owner Cui Yong is a Beijinger who grew up in the hutongs, and is nothing short of a walking encyclopedia of the city.
Founded in 2009, Zhengyang went through its fair share of struggles in its early years.
People in Beijing say that a shop that sells cooking necessities will always have customers. But this particular shop had a hard time staying open because of the popularity of the internet and the rise in commercial rent fees.
But 12 whole years later, they have amassed a large group of friends with a passion for Beijing's history and culture. It is very easy nowadays to buy books using phones, but Cui said customers insist on coming to the store in person, and refuse to accept any discounts.
After establishing a community of like-minded lovers of all things Beijing, Cui branched out and went into the publishing business. He is especially proud of helping put together the English version of the literal gem "Beijing: Epitome of the Splendid Chinese Civilization," which helps foreign readers better understand the 3,000-year-old history of the city.
As the "Beijing-flavored" bookstore keeps gaining popularity, Zhengyang remains a spiritual "streetlight" for many nostalgic readers while paving the way for more cultural exchanges and inheritance.
This episode is part of CGTN's special coverage on China's bookstores. What's fun and special about other ones around the country? Stay tuned to find out more.
Reporter: Wang Yuqing
Video editor: Wang Yuqing
Cameraman: Chen Jiazheng
Designer: Li Wenyi
Chief editor: Chen Ran
Project producers: Liu Yuqi, Wang Xuejing