Monday, July 07, 2008

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Recently the "Shanghai Legend" shopping center next to the Zhangjiang High-Tech subway station has been seen its business expand and has been taking advantage of this growth to try some new money-making ideas: part of the grassy area in the central plaza is being replaced with a wooden deck, an unused walkway along the entrance was converted into retail space for a Coldstone Ice-Cream, and a some tents were set up just outside the shopping center selling random stuff like ice cream and toys.

Besides Gourmand Hoi Kei, one of the things that has me excited about that particular subway station is that it's the second place in Shanghai that I know of to shop for second-hand English-language reading material. One of the tents I mentioned above sells what I assume are slightly damaged or unwanted books from the Fuzhou Rd Foreign Language Bookstore (I'll ask about this next time I'm there). They have a decent supply of both children's and adult's books, enough to keep me browsing for a good 20 minutes while Jodi sits in air-conditioned Starbucks and tries their weird new drinks. The adult books are heavily weighted towards esoteric topics like cooking, history, and self-improvement, while the kid books are more all-around. The majority of the books are in English, but I also ran across some Spanish, Portuguese, German, and a couple languages I didn't recognize. All books are marked with their original price but are sold for 40% off, plus whatever you can bargain away.

On Saturday evening I got away with six English books for RMB 160: The Practical Guide to Kayaking and Canoeing, preparing for the day I get to kayak on the Suzhou Creek; Patrick Moore on Mars, for physics class; The General Knowledge Quiz Book, gearing up to start a Quiz Bowl team at our school; a recipe book from the Thomas Edison estate, a beautifully printed booklet whose pages could go up on the wall once framed; and a book of rhymes and cat story for Charlotte.

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