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Amid a virus surge and government repression, Hong Kong’s oldest bookstore is closing.

Aaron Robertson

July 29, 2020, 2:53pm

I know that fingers can’t “plod,” but that is what they are doing now, delivering upsetting news that encapsulates this shitty year.

As Hong Kong teeters on the edge of a serious coronavirus outbreak and democratic institutions continue losing a war of attrition with the Chinese government, the region will lose one of its brick-and-mortar cultural mainstays tomorrow: Swindon Book Co. Ltd, Hong Kong’s oldest bookshop.

The South China Morning Post reports that Swindon, a bookstore founded in 1918 that has survived multiple deadly virus outbreaks and world wars, would close its location on Lock Road in central Hong Kong. The closure comes after years of rent payment troubles that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, known for selling mostly English-language books and stationery, will begin selling books online in August.

The family-run business has seen three generations. Today, dozens of customers visited the bookstore to pay their respects, as it were, with at least a handful taking photographs of the building.

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