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Beijing gets first 'human library'

books Updated: Dec 27, 2011 07:14 IST

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Ever thought what if you could interact with the protagonist of an interesting book? Well, booklovers in Beijing have been offered such an opportunity by a 28-year-old woman who always wished to be a librarian.

Li Xingning's childhood dream came true this Christmas, when she opened a "Human Library" where books were real people. It was Beijing's first human library, with dozens of readers and six "living books" exchanging their life stories and ideas, China

Daily reported.

In a human library, the books are real people engaging readers in a direct dialogue. And, a living book is the person who has chosen to be a representative of a certain group.

"Here we get to know people who have interesting life stories to share, and also understand who they are and why they live in a particular way," said Li.

Li, an architect by profession, hoped her library would serve as an interactive platform to promote mutual understanding among people.

The human library concept originated in Denmark in 2000, and the idea has since spread around the world to over 45 countries. In China, such libraries have sprouted in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Yu, one of the living books, has been living a vagabond's life for nine months, travelling from southwest China's Yunnan province to Beijing, with little money and a guitar.

"I just want to tell them that once outside our comfort zone, we may find the beauty of life that we've never imagined before."

The library also has an online version, where people from outside Beijing can share their stories.

Li said the "living books" were chosen as they followed their dreams. Every day one human book will be available in the library. But readers aren't allowed to 'the living book' out.