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Greetings from the Autumn 2012 Editorial Board!

The November issue of Varsity looks at books and bodies. First off, we explore Hong Kong’s reading culture.

In August, the famed bookstore and lifestyle shop Eslite opened its first branch outside of Taiwan right here in Hong Kong. Crowds immediately thronged the store and it became the place to be seen. Some commentators believe its impact, if any, will be short-lived in a city regarded as something of a cultural desert. Others, including some local bookshops, hope Eslite’s arrival will usher in a few changes and boost interest in reading.

Although the reading culture in Hong Kong is not particularly strong, as a special administrative region of China, we enjoy freedom of the press. This makes Hong Kong an information hub for mainlanders as well as others from the Chinese-speaking world. Books banned in the mainland can be found in local bookstores. Mainland readers, hungry for information, stock up on books that are prohibited back home.

Teachers and parents are always emphasising the importance of reading and criticising youngsters for not reading enough.
Varsity attempts to see if this is true and looks at what the youth of Hong Kong are actually reading. Growing up in a digital age, we have access to many reading materials other than books and newspapers. Young people read online, so their reading habits differ from those of the older generation.

Apart from reading, this issue of Varsity looks at how we view our bodies. In the Our Community section, local Abercrombie & Fitch models talk about how Asian male bodies are viewed differently from those of western men. We explore the idea of the perfect male body.

In the Lifestyle section, local nudists tell us how comfortable they are in nothing but the skin that nature gave them.

Happy reading!