Good places to put zines in Hong Kong [No. 4] – People’s Recreation Community Cafe
Where? Causeway Bay
Type of place: Book-cafe
In the tradition of most decent places in Hong Kong, this place is hard to find. If you’ve heard of Coffee Corridor then you might bump into this one by accident [They’re practically next door to each other…Coffee Corridor is the next entrance along].
The place is small, probably about the same size as Jonathan Pryce’s office in ‘Brazil’. Well, maybe not that tight…if you took all the books out, maybe it’d look normal size. But as it is, if you go on a busy day then you’re gonna have a hard time finding space.
Never mind. A busy book-cafe isn’t a bad thing. It’s good that people in Hong Kong are reading.
Actually, it’s mostly people from the mainland who come here. You see, they can’t buy books about their political system/leaders where they come from, so they have to come to HK, find this book-cafe, buy as many polemics as they can carry then hope they get back through the customs line in Shenzhen.
Is it hard to get books through Chinese customs?
ME: Can they get the books back over the border?
MANAGER: 75% can. They’re willing to take the risk.
ME: Will they get shot if they get caught?
MANAGER: Wow, where do you get your information on China? No, they won’t get shot, they just won’t be able to read the books they paid for.
The English section is quite small, and is nowhere near as well-stocked as the Chinese section [which is the rest of the shop]. But that’s about to change as Zizek Press puts its first three zine novels on its shelves.
Also, it’s quite a relaxing place to visit. Just downstairs and outside is Times Square and about a million people standing around getting in each other’s way, so it’s good to be able to escape up a nearby stairwell and into a decent book-cafe. And the design of the place is a whole lot better than the green carpet and bare walls of HK Reader in Mong Kok.
How to get there: Get off at Causeway Bay MTR and take the two hour walk to Exit A. This will put you outside Times Square. Don’t go in there, it’s shit. Instead, cross the road where all the taxis are, walk left a little, and keep an eye out for a big sign with Mao on it. Go up the stairwell and through the door on the 2/F.