Pin-to Livros

04 2018 | Issue 26
Text/Jasper Hou

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Pin-to Livros was reopened in July 2017 at No.47 Rua de Coelho do Amaral. After undergoing resource integration, Pin-to Livros and Musica are now merged into one. Pin-to Livros’ director Anson Ng believes that physical bookstores should utilise books and facilitate an environment for people to exchange ideas. The new business site is located at the old city centre, which is close to the neighbourhoods of local Macao people. The new Pin-to Livros will soon plan to organise cultural activities that connect local communities and facilitate cultural scene.


Building a reading space of one’s own


In 2003, Anson teamed up with three friends with different specialties to launch Pin-to Livros. “I previously worked for the Taiwan bookstore chain The Eslite Bookstore. From there I accumulated certain knowledge of how the publishing industry and bookstores work. I also found that bookstores in Macao at that time didn’t have what I was looking for, especially books on art design and liberal arts and science. That’s why I wanted to open up a bookstore, to satisfy my own desire,” Anson explained. 


What sets Pin-to Livros apart from the crowd is its book selection, which mainly concentrates on books on design, liberal arts and science. “Given the limited space of the store, I believe it’s good to concentrate on providing particular types of books in the store. It might appear that big bookstores would have a comprehensive inventory of books. But the fact is consumers don’t really know where to choose the books they want. So we target specific demands on certain book genres that might not be so popular, hoping to build our brand by focusing on catering to certain demands,” Anson explained.


Connecting communities


After the reopening, Pin-to Livros has transformed itself from a bookstore targeting customers from the touristic area to a community-based bookstore. “We have planned that Pin-to Livros would establish a close relationship with neighbouring communities. Young people nowadays are becoming more active in entrepreneurship, opening up businesses that target the young generation in communities. Our bookstore positions to target young consumers as well and mainly caters to consumers in communities in an attempt to establish connections with them,” Anson said. 


In addition, Anson is hoping to connect readers, nearby businesses, and communities through Pin-to Livros, which serves as a cultural entity in Macao. “We can’t always just sit and wait for the government to boost the cultural scene in communities for us. Businesses like us should actively contribute to this course,” Anson commented. He believes that the bookstore can establish connections between different businesses in communities and facilitate interaction between different sectors, which is a way to stimulate the cultural scene in communities.


Organising events to add on cultural elements


From his own observation, Anson found that the physical bookstore sector in Macao hasn’t suffered the decline of the physical book business as serious as markets in other regions. He believed that such phenomenon is closely connected with the societal, economic and cultural conditions in a particular region. “Independent bookstores have been emerging in markets like the UK, the US, and nearby regions. So I wonder if this could mean that the number of consumers preferring physical books is actually increasing. Besides, there is a solid base of physical book and bookstore supporters in Macao and it’s still growing in recent years,” Anson said. “So I believe physical bookstores still have their own value. The important question is how to attract readers for your bookstore.” 


Adding on cultural elements to the bookstore is one way to do so. Pin-to Livros regularly organises events like music launch and book club, etc. “Organising music launch events is one of the features our bookstore offers. We have invited artists from Japan, Taiwan and mainland China to share their thoughts on their new productions and music itself. Every time our customers had been very active in participating in the events despite the fact that we charged them a fee and only 20 or 30 people could actually participate due to the venue space. I pay great attention to utilising limited resources in our bookstore and making every event as refined as possible,” Anson stated. “After moving to the new business site, we basically organise events every month. We stimulate the cultural scene in communities and attract more readers through this approach.”


Kickstarting a publishing body to explore local authors


It has always been Anson’s goal for 13 years to share good contents with people here in Macao, providing them with more choices in reading. 


When talking about future plans, Anson expressed that besides building a quality physical bookstore, it’s also Pin-to Livros’ goal to grow into a publishing agency. “I am hoping to have my own publishing brand in the future and that I could discover local authors with potential whom I could help get their works published,” Anson explained. “At present, Pin-to Livros has amassed followers from Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China, etc. We are hoping that our platform could bring forth literature from Macao to readers from different regions. I believe this is something meaningful to do.”