Saturday, July 21, 2001.
The weather in Shanghai wasn't so good. It was cloudy, hot and humid even early in the morning, but luckily it wasn't forecasted to rain.
But you could build up a sweat just from walking about.
But what was abnormal was that though it was six going seven o'clock in the morning, there were long queues at the entrances of many of Shanghai's major bookstores. There were men and women, young and old, many tired and weary, others sitting eating an early breakfast.
A taxi driver drove past one of the bookstores and seeing the strange situation. He couldn't help but stop the car and ask one of the middle-aged guys at the end of the queue: "Hey, man, what are you all doing here so early in the morning?"
But the guy seemed to be in a bad mood being at the back of the queue. Hearing someone ask him a question, he responded impatiently: "What else could we be doing outside a bookstore? Of course, we're waiting for the bookstore to open, so we can buy a book!"
"Buy a book? What book are you tryna buy?"
"[Stories About The Ming Dynasty] of course! What else could it be?!"
"Oh, that's the book that was popular a while ago, right, I've heard of it, but I swear it was written by a kid, Bright Star or whatever." The driver questioned, confused by his enthusiasm.
"Bright Star my ass!" The middle-aged fan sneered dissatisfied. "His name's Bright Moon! Okay. It's a pseudonym! Besides, so what if he's only seventeen, he's a genius. Compared to him, what had you accomplished when you were his age?"
"Jeez, sorry, man I didn't mean to be rude. I was just asking!" The taxi driver quickly apologized, taken aback by the harsh response. What a fanatic!
"Is the book really that good? My wife and son are also fans of the book."
"You haven't read it? That's really your loss!"
"Originally I didn't have any interest in reading the book either but my co-workers kept bugging me to read it. I didn't expect to become obsessed with it despite the fact I don't even really like history. Man I remember having to wait all night for updates but now they're finally releasing the whole book. I really hope I get a copy, I woke up so early to get here but I was still late now I'm stuck at the back of the queue." He said, showing an anxious look.
The driver's eyes sparkled and he whispered to the middle-aged fan quietly: I know a place with a small bookstore, it's not too far from here. There shouldn't be that many people there. If you don't think you can get a book from here you can try there. I'm gonna go try to get a copy for the family."
The fan's eyes brightened and he asked in a low voice: "Are you serious? Is it a proper bookstore? I want genuine copies for my collection!"
The taxi driver patted his chest and said: "Relax, it's a legit bookstore, do you wanna come?"
"Of course I do, what are you waiting for, hurry!" The middle-aged guy said, hurrying into the car.
"Okay, let's go!" The taxi driver was overjoyed and immediately started the taxi and left.
While driving, he laughed in his heart: "Haha, I got such an easy job so early in the morning. I guess I have to thank that author! I might just have to read that book….someday."
At eight o'clock, the city's bookstores officially opened. Impatient citizens who had long waited outside the doors, rushed in and went straight to the bookshelves!
The newly printed and beautifully packed copies of [Stories About The Ming Dynasty] on the shelves quickly sold out, and the bookstore owners had to quickly move the spare inventory out for sale, but even then they soon ran out of supply! Indignant, those who weren't able to buy copies could only suck it up in annoyance and jealousy and wait for tomorrow. Hoping the stores would be restocked by then.
Crescent Bookstore, was a bookstore that was neither too big nor too small in Shanghai, it wasn't usually very famous, but it was extremely lively at Crescent today. There were countless people entering and leaving. The queue outside the door stretched all the way down the road. The reason for which was because of Jiang Cheng, who was holding his book signing here.
Crescent Bookstore was owned by Jiang Cheng's mother, Gao Linlan and naturally since Jiang Cheng had a good opportunity going, he turned to family first.
The family got up early and arrived at the bookstore at seven only to see it already packed with the front door blocked by people queuing, it was impossible to get in. So for safety, the family, bookstore employees and the publishing house employees all entered the bookstore from the back entrance.
At this time, Jiang Cheng had to admire his mother's vision. His mother not only owned Crescent Bookstore but the building it was in. The building was three stories tall and the bookstore was on the ground floor, she rented out the other two floors, there was a restaurant on the top floor and an internet cafe on the second floor. She had bought it several years ago when Shanghai's property prices were still relatively cheap or at least cheaper.
The doors officially opened at 8 o'clock, but because there were enough security guards to maintain order, people couldn't rush in like with the other bookstores. But seeing that Jiang Cheng was already in the bookstore, people burst into cheers: "Ah--! Bright Moon! Bright Moon, I love you! Bright Moon!..."
Jiang Cheng was shocked when he saw the scene, he had never experienced such a situation in his previous life!
But reigning in his emotions, he just let out a deep sigh before getting in position and taking a seat.
People walked up one by one to Jiang Cheng's desk, and handed over their copies of the book to him to sign. Jiang Cheng signed the books and wrote blessings and encouragement, since people liked the book so much and had paid for it, it seemed a little unreasonable to just give a signature, so he wrote a few words below, it wasn't a big deal anyway.
Sure enough, people who bought the book were even more thrilled to see that in addition to a signature from Bright Moon, the title page also had a handwritten message of blessing and encouragement. Receiving their books back people started to talk incoherently, and some girls even cried with joy, shouting "I love you!" making Jiang Cheng a little uncomfortable.
At this time, a young man in his twenties got to the front of the queue and excitedly said to Jiang Cheng: "Bright Moon! Hello! My name is Li Zhongbai, I'm a student studying history at Peking University. I was among one of your first readers on Tianya! Knowing that your book was being published today, I came all the way from Beijing to meet you!
Jiang Cheng was moved, this guy was really such a fan! For the first time, Jiang Cheng understood why so many people wanted to be celebrities, the feeling of being liked, admired, and treated as an idol.
This feeling was amazing!
Looking up at him, Jiang Cheng smiled: "I know you right, I've seen your private messages and your posts on the forum. Sorry I couldn't reply to your messages, I've been busy writing and sorting everything out for the book release. I'm very grateful for your support! "
Li Zhongbai said excitedly: "No....you don't need to apologize, I understand! I just hope you can keep writing so I can keep reading."
Jiang Cheng laughed again: "In order to be worthy of everyone's support naturally I have to keep writing."
"Hahaha I'm looking forward to it!" Li Zhongbai replied energetically.
"Hey, hurry up at the front, there are still people waiting!" came a shout from behind.
People behind in the queue couldn't help but complain seeing Jiang Cheng and Li Zhongbai talking for so long.
Jiang Cheng shrugged helplessly and smiled at Li Zhongbai.
But then Li Zhongbai froze for a moment, when he saw Jiang Cheng suddenly writing something on the title page of his book, and then handing it to him. Li Zhongbai took a look, it was a series of numbers!
This….Bright Moon had given him his number! Li Zhongbai thought excitedly.
Strongly enduring the urge to scream at the top of his lungs, Li Zhongbai frantically thanked him again, before heading out.
Looking at his slightly trembling back, Jiang Cheng smiled heartily before turning to welcome the next fan.
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