Recently I had occasion to go to Hohhot for several days, where my main activity was visiting Mongolian-language bookshops and buying books in or about Mongolian. In the hope that it may be of use to anyone who wants to buy Mongolian-language books in Hohhot, I have done a page detailing the locations of bookshops, as well as a few brief comments on the shops.
While it is disappointing that there are so few Mongolian-language bookshops in the capital of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, it was very exciting to be surrounded by books in Mongolian — even though the script is very hard to make sense of with my current level of Mongolian.
The decline of Mongolian as a language in the cities of Inner Mongolia was immediately apparent. However, I was accosted by at least one ethnic Mongolian high-school student who confided that she wanted to study Mongolian literature and then become involved in film-making. In one of the bookshops I also met a graduate in Mongolian literature who was looking for a job where she could use her specialty. While almost smothered by the (Han) Chinese presence in Inner Mongolia, it is encouraging that interest in the Mongol culture and identity still manage to survive.