When Natalia de la Ossa from the London Review Bookshop arrived in Chengdu for the International Bookstore Forum in mid-September, it seemed natural for her to offer local readers their selection of the best English-language titles around after the bookshop launched its section at the Sinan Bookshop in Shanghai in April.
Dressed in black and speaking quickly in a low voice, De la Ossa appears relaxed and urbane, and is quick to laugh at any interesting suggestions or ideas. Her willingness to try different things and openness to other cultures may be why she has successfully led the London Review Bookshop out of the red and into profit since joining the bookstore in 2013 as its general manager.
“We almost had a wedding. A couple wanted to get married, but we didn’t have enough time to get the license. One of us would have had to take a course to get the license, so we had to decline,” she says.