06 June 2018 by Christina Barker
Source Andrew Michael/ Alamy Stock Photo
I recently came across an interesting article in relation to the local Bicester Village Shopping Centre. (Source - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-42015714 By Marcus Liddel)
In this article, Marcus explains why Bicester Village is very popular with the Chinese tourists. I have only visited the centre twice and on both occasions, there were Chinese people by the coach load queuing out the doors of some of the more popular shops there. I did wonder why there were so many Chinese tourists and how they heard about the village.
It seems it is very famous for Chinese people and is all over their social media because of its bargain items on high-end brands. They can also take advantage of being able to claim back the 20% VAT available for non-EU visitors. They state the tax is so high in China that they visit Bicester Village to buy there instead.
Reading this story, it got me thinking about how they can spend so much money on clothes and bags but it doesn’t seem to be the same when it comes to purchasing books. In the UK, books are readily available and we have a bookshop in all major cities, as well as being able to download on iBooks and order online on websites like Waterstones and Amazon. We are at the hands of a wealth of information but it doesn’t seem this way for China. I wonder if China does not have the same type of access to books like we do here. Could this be the reason people don’t buy books in China as there are so few bookshops there if any? Could they be purchasing books whilst they visit London for their libraries in Chinese schools? We are very fortunate here that our children get to bring home a different book from school each day to read, explore and learn about. Does this happen in China? Could this possibly be down to the Chinese government in some way? Do the children have the same access to these books or are they missing out in some way? If the Chinese see books as an investment then maybe more books would be sold. Maybe they might want to learn more about England and learn how to read, speak and write in English in the same way that we like to learn about China. How can we read, speak and write in the same way so that they can understand? It is about educating and bringing the two cultures together, but we need to help each other in order do this.
Snowflake Books are written in both English and Mandarin. Each book is carefully crafted with beautiful illustrations for people to adore and cherish. The cost of each book is very reasonable for something that you can read again and again. Children enjoy looking closely at each page, taking in the beautiful colours which explode from each turn of the corner. We would love for more people to learn about our books, about the tales and legends of each animal sign series and see what they will discover. When you open that book, it is not just an investment in the book; you are investing in your education, in your child’s education and in your grandchildren’s future education.