书店—文化生活的钥匙 Bookstores, Key to Cultural Life
These days, it is of no surprise that a number ofbookstores in big cities likeBeijing,Nanjingare squeezed outof bustling commercial streets and give way to more profitable shopping malls,hotels and restaurants. This might be considered by some people as one of thenatural outcomes of market-oriented economy, which puts more emphasis on moneymaking than anything else. Books, however, as special commodities, can never bemeasured merely by their commercial values. Bookstores, as a distributor ofbooks and a bridge between writers, publishers and readers, deservepreferential treatment at present.
It is true that bookstores are not as lucrative as someshopping malls or restaurants. However, books are faithful friends of mankindand steps to human progress. Good books can refresh people with knowledge andwisdom, which other commoditiescan notcompare with. To some extent, they help developthe characters of their readers and reshape their way of thinking. It would bea pity if one only views books from the point of their commercial values whileignoring their social values and functions. In fact, the shrinking number ofbookstores and their humiliating defeat in the fierce commercial war isworrisome.
While seeking economic success, we cannot afford to neglectour spiritual and cultural lives, which are equally important. Bookstores playa significant part in cultivating social ethics. Through distributing qualitybooks, bookstores help educate the public on righteous and healthy values andmorals. The positive social effects of bookstores as well as their contributionto society can never be taken for granted and be judged by their economicreturns and business earnings. Restoring the past glory of bookstores needshelp and support from everyone.