Zheng Shide, born in 1928, was the manager of Mudanjiang Branch of Northeast Bookstore in 1947. He was transferred to Xinhua Bookstore in 1954, and later became the deputy general manager of Xinhua Bookstore.
Shake hands with Chairman Mao and I blush.
In 1949, Chairman Mao announced on the Tiananmen Gate Tower: The Central Peoples Government of the Peoples Republic of China has been established today! Our representative of Xinhua Bookstore was at the west side of downstairs facing the square. We could clearly see the cheering crowd. Everyone was very excited.
Three days later, at No. 10 Dongzhongbu Hutong in Beijing, the Central Propaganda Department organized a national conference on the publishing of Xinhua Bookstores. At that time, there were six delegations. As the manager of Harbin Branch of Xinhua Bookstore, I was one of the 10 representatives of the Northeast Delegation and the youngest one. I was just 21 years old.
On October 4, when Lu Ding, then Minister of Propaganda, asked what you wanted, the manager of Beijing Branch, Steward, stood up and said, We miss Chairman Mao very much, and we are eager for Chairman Mao to meet us! There was applause at the meeting. At that time, the minister did not make a statement. Everyone thought that the Southwest and Guangdong provinces had not yet been liberated. Chairman Maos work was very tense and he had to command the battle. There was little hope of being interviewed.
On the afternoon of the 18th, the meeting ended 30 minutes ahead of schedule. The host informed everyone to have dinner immediately and assembled quickly at 6 p.m. I thought Id go to a party or a movie.
More than 70 of our delegates lined up in three rows. Soon Chairman Mao arrived, dressed in a blue-and-white woolen overcoat, with great vigor. At that time, we were so happy that Chairman Mao really met us.
After a while, it came to me. I went to Chairman Mao from the list. Chairman Mao shook hands with me and said, Oh, members of the Youth League. Actually, I joined the Party in 1947, but because of my baby face, it looks like a teenager. At that time Chairman Mao said that the Youth League members, I should reply that I am a member of the Communist Party, but forgot to say, too excited, blushing.
Line up every day at the entrance of the bookstore
From 1937, when the first Xinhua bookstore was founded in Qingliangshan, Yanan, to 1949, there were 735 Xinhua bookstores in China. At the beginning of the founding of New China and the beginning of reform and opening up, the phenomenon of long queues at the entrance of bookstores appeared repeatedly, reflecting peoples great thirst for spiritual food.
_Old photos of Xinhua Bookstore
When the Peoples Republic of China was founded, bookstores in ordinary areas were opened by two people, a manager and an accountant, and then two or three service personnel were recruited locally. Unlike today, even county bookstores have to have at least 30 people, but they are still too busy. A book is a few cents, a few cents. Many people buy books, including cadres, the PLA, intellectuals and the general public. At that time, the level of cultural popularization was not high, and there were not many intellectuals.
In 1949, the whole country was liberated. At that time, Xinhua Bookstores were soon established in County bookstores. Chairman Mao inscribed the words on Xinhua Bookstores. My Harbin bookstore is renamed as the Harbin Branch of Xinhua Bookstore. There are market stocks, accounting stocks, branch stocks, mail order stocks, general affairs stocks and service stocks in it. At that time, there were more than 70 branches. Most of the staff were middle school graduates of my age. They were all in their 20s and the oldest was only 27 years old. At that time, high school graduates were intellectuals, but now they cant. At least they have to graduate from university to be intellectuals.
Only a year later, the book distribution of Xinhua Bookstore has surpassed the most prosperous period of the publishing industry in the Republic of China. Xinhua Bookstore is cheap and has many kinds of books. There are always long lines at the entrance. Private bookstores are no good. Nobody goes. Later, private bookstores gradually changed to public-private joint-venture bookstores, hanging a sign at the door, telling readers that this is also Xinhua bookstore.
Why do readers read through telescopes?
After the reform and opening up, the open-shelf selling of books has brought great convenience to readers. The reform of profit retention has effectively promoted the development of the state-owned book publishing industry, and bookstores all over the country have taken on a new look.
After the reform and opening up, bookstores have changed a lot, such as improving service level and implementing open-shelf selling. In 1978, Huajunwu, a famous cartoonist, drew a cartoon which appeared in Peoples Daily. It depicted a reader reading in a bookstore with a telescope. In fact, it criticized Xinhua bookstore.
Why read with a telescope? Because of the distance between bookshelves and readers, there is a counter glass, many readers can not see which books are there. So the cartoon ironically says that you have to look through a telescope.
In fact, this issue has been debated since the early years of the founding of New China. Some people think that to read books and go to the library, bookstores are selling books, not reading places. Since the reform and opening up, bookstores have paid more and more attention to service, and closed-shelf bookselling has become a history.
Another important reform is profit retention. Starting from July 1, 1979, Xinhua Bookstores across the country broke through the constraints of the planned economic system and tried to retain profits throughout the industry, handing over 50% of profits and leaving 50% of profits. In that year, the director of the Department of Culture and Education of the Ministry of Finance said, In all walks of life of state-owned enterprises, only Xinhua Bookstore tries to retain the profits of the whole industry, hoping that the headquarters will grasp it well.
This reform has greatly promoted the development of Xinhua Bookstores. Xinhua Bookstores all over the country have taken on a new look. They have changed the appearance of few, small and dangerous, and county-level bookstores have built more than two storeys of buildings. After the 1990s, more funds were accumulated. The Xinhua Bookstore in big cities built 89-storey and more than 10-storey buildings, and the types of books reached hundreds of thousands.
Since the beginning of the new century, with the development of e-books and the rise of e-commerce, physical bookstores have once declined, and even the bookstore will die prediction has appeared. However, in recent years, some independent bookstores and fashion bookstores have found new ways to attract a large number of fans.
_Small Readers Read Books in Bookstores
Since the founding of New China 70 years ago, with the joint efforts of generations of builders, all walks of life have made remarkable achievements and the motherland has taken on a new look. Nowadays, most of the first generation of builders in New China are old people, and the new generation of post-90s has already taken up their jobs. Recently, the Economic Daily dispatched all-media journalists to visit the first generation of builders in the fields of space, finance, communications, transportation and culture. They were invited to have a chat with the younger generation after 1990, to tell little-known historical stories, to talk about the latest changes in various industries in the new era, and to feel the great changes in comparison between the past and the present.