American lawyer turns new leaf to open bookstore in Hong Kong
Albert Wan closed his Atlanta law practice to reintroduce e-book readers to old-fashioned printed books
In 2016, Albert Wan closed the doors to his United States law firm. Now he has opened a bookstore in San Po Kong, an industrial area of Hong Kong. Crazy? Maybe. But Wan says the move is about challenging himself, to start a new chapter.
“I had my own law practice in Atlanta – mostly civil rights and criminal defence. I practised for 10 years and loved every minute of it, but it’s time for a change, a new challenge.”
When his wife, Jenny, accepted a history professor’s position at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Wan knew it was a chance not only to spend more time with his family (he was born in the US, but his parents are Hongkongers), but also to try a new industry.
Wan, a self-confessed e-book virgin, says that while the study is encouraging, he’s realistic about the industry. “I can’t stop a trend, and I’m not going head-to-head with Amazon,” he says, with a laugh.
You will also discover gems such as Portugal . Wan removes the book’s dust jacket to reveal a tapestry circa 1969 by Wake-Brook House, the US publishing houseknown for its beautiful hand-crafted covers and bindings. Vintage comics and sheet music can be found, too.
Wan has plans for walking tours and talks by local authors (in December, Bleak House hosted a talk by Stuart Gietel-Basten, a professor at HKUST and co-author of Why Demography Matters ).
Bleak House Books is at 27/F, Well Tech Centre, 9 Pat Tat Street, San Po Kong, tel: 3705 0251.