As Marcus Tullius Cicero once said, ‘a room without books is like a body without a soul’, which can’t be said of Hangzhou, home to some of the finest bookshops in town where every room is covered head-to-toe in books. Here are eight amazing bookshops to worm your way around.
April 23 is World Reading Day which also marks the first anniversary of when Zhong Shu Ge opened. As you enter this bookshop it’s like entering an enchanted white forest where books adorn shelves in a medieval style setting.
Mai Town is a public literature center which offers services like “free books to read” and “free coffee to drink”. It is a place for authors and literati to exchange their ideas and with branches in Fuyang and Xixi it boasts a total collection of 30000 books.
This is the first bookshop to stay open for twenty-four hours a day, so now the night scene of Hangzhou has one more literary landmark and what’s more, just like its name implies, reading can now become enjoyable 24/7.
Momi Café is both a café which is dedicated to selling healthy drinks and a bookshop specializing in four types of books, namely, travel, art, picture book and literature.
The famous Librairie avant-garde in Nanjing enjoys a high reputation both in China and abroad. Last year, it was rated as one of the ten best bookstores in the world by the American National Geographic magazine, and it is the only library which has been chosen in Asia. Yunxi Library is the 11th branch of Librairie avant-garde and the first branch in Hangzhou.
At the mention of Xixuan Hotel, people always refer to its impressive library. Sunshine brightly beams through the transparent roof so even in winter you can read books whilst basking in the sun.
Hangchen Bookshop is a unique cultural synthesis that is composed of a bookshop, Hangchen lecture room, creative life museum, coffee shop, art gallery, children’s world and book bank.
Address: Intersection of Tongyi Road and Tongyun Road.
Shen’aoli is reputed as being the most beautiful library. The elderly come here to drink tea and children to do their homework. During the weekends, residents sell their handmade goods and local specialties in the bazaar. Here is the perfect setting for reading books whilst dining with the locals.