China's coastal resort Sanya turns ship into library

Updated 2017-09-11 10:00:43 Xinhua
A view of the bookstore made of three abandoned boats in Xidao Village of Sanya City, South China’s Hainan Province, Sept. 5, 2017.

A view of the bookstore made of three abandoned boats in Xidao Village of Sanya City, South China's Hainan Province, Sept. 5, 2017.

Sanya, a costal resort in south China, has converted fishing boats into a floating public library.

"Sea Study" is the first public library on the island of Ximaozhou, eight nautical miles west to the downtown Sanya, Hainan Province.

"A life can not be called life without books," said Chen Muhu, 78, a fisherman who was browsing archeology books in the library.

The pyramid-shaped Ximaozhou Island is home to 4,000 residents, but has only one primary school.

"Locals needed a library badly," said Qin Jiayi, the instigator of the project. "We see quite a few readers every day."

More than 30 fishermen spent four weeks renovating three abandoned fishing boats into a reading cabin, a salon, and a 16-bed hostel.

Qin planned to double the library's collection to 4,000 books.

Due to limited fishing resources nearby and out-of-date equipment, fishermen from Ximaozhou Island are less dependent on the traditional way of making a living. Twenty-four fishing boats have been taken out of service. Timber from some was made into furniture.

Qin decided to bring the boats back to life in a different way, with support from the local government.

The library satisfies local people's needs while making their village more appealing to outsiders, said Jia Peng, a government official.

The government plans to renovate another 21 vessels into theaters, shops and hostels.

"It sounds cool," said Feng Yuetao, a tourist from the plateau province of Qinghai who said would like to visit the library with his family.

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