According to Zhan Li, growing up in the coastal Chinese city of Tianjin is not a fun experience for any child because it’s hard to have any activities outdoors there. Throughout her teenage years, Zhan stayed at home and read books.
One of her fondest memories is the first time she received a whole set of children’s story books. Those stories, from different countries and regions, inspired her by showing her how culturally diverse the world is. If there was one consistent thing that reading offered her, it was the reinforcement about how big the world is.