Mackie Study




i got some sad news awhile ago - mackie study has winded up. i almost couldn't believe it.... both their wanchai and causeway bay outlets have closed down, leaving only mackie kitchen in business.

mackie study has always been more than just a bookstore to me. the first time i stepped into this little bookstore, it felt like there were fireworks going off in my heart. haha. i'm not exaggerating. i felt transported into a world where i truly, truly belong to. i felt deliriously happy. it was one of the reasons why i loved hong kong, despite the bad air, the equally bad traffic, the expensive karaoke... everytime i went to hong kong, the first place i wanted to go to was causeway bay, and specifically, i wanted to go climb up that narrow flight of stairs and push open the door of mackie study and step into that magical space. and it's quite ludicruous, but i often visited mackie study a few times a day, the boss would recognize me, and then i'd go to mackie kitchen on the same day and bump into the boss again... very embarrassing.

over the last 5 years, mackie study has become a respected cultural symbol in hong kong. people cling on to mackie study as a defence against the onslaught of mindless consumerism and the sad but sure fact that reading is a dying habit, especially in hong kong. i think everyone, based on mackie study's cult status, assumed that it was doing well financially, that it had SURVIVED. we all thought it had become both a temple for the ones like us and a successful example of a small business model. nobody worried for it, especially after it opened a new store at the hk arts center and a kitchen just off causeway bay.

unfortunately, it has been impossible for mackie study to make any sustainable/substantial profits, even if it represents the sort of independent, free-spirited enterprise that every city wishes to keep. and who are the ones left reading when most people decide to focus on other life issues, like unemployment and the sorry state of the economy?

even before the economy of the world plummeted, the culture business has never been an easy one. the dreamers, the poets, the thinkers, the artists of the world, who hasn't dreamed of owning a coffeeshop or their own little bookstore? but how many of them have been able to build a viable business? most of the time, it's the businesspeople who know nothing about culture who end up owning successful coffeeshops and chain bookstores.

it's not easy to do culture, especially when you're up against the corporate giants.

but we have to keep trying.

mackie study official website

12 comments:

April 19, 2009 at 5:20 PM kite said...

OMG shit!

I'm heartbroken :(

April 19, 2009 at 9:17 PM Anonymous said...

if it's you in the cap yesterday then you're the cutest little shopkeeper i've ever seen <3

April 19, 2009 at 10:39 PM Anonymous said...

iwanted to visit the cafeessssss

April 19, 2009 at 10:59 PM Anonymous said...

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April 19, 2009 at 11:47 PM laura said...

i had the same sad feeling as you when i discovered mackie study closed leaving with only mackie kitchen. was still planning to visit mackie study on my trip to hk last month. such a pity. mackie kitchen certainly doesn't feel the same as mackie study.

April 20, 2009 at 11:48 AM soon lee said...

it's tough but there must be a way and we truly believe it. to make culture, make business, and feed the shopkeepers in the same breath. keep going R! we hope to visit soon.

April 20, 2009 at 9:16 PM james said...

hi casual poet,

thanks for your writing about mackie study...

sure, i remember bumping into you a few times within a single day....
i feel grateful to meet customers like you.....

all the best,

james
www.mackiestudy.com

April 21, 2009 at 9:13 PM R said...

dear james,

i'm so embarrassed that you remember me! hahaa. i wish u all the best, and i hope mackie study will one day make a grand comeback! :)


rebecca

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