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4 Reasons Why Book Lovers Will Fall In Love With China

With so many incredible bookstores and libraries, China has become a haven visited by book lovers. From innovative architecture to mind-blowing interior design, these bookstores and libraries draw bookworms from all over the world. Here are a few of book lovers favorite places to go see when you're next visiting China.

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Source: Inhabitat

1. Zhongshuge Yangzhou

Book retailer Zhongshuge commissioned Shanghai studio XL-Muse to design the interior of this bookstore. Nothing prepares you for the eyeful that you’ll experience when you step into this beautiful bookstore. Located in Zhen Yuan County, the bookstore is situated in a tranquil, waterside area that has an abundance of trees and arched bridge. This tranquil environment translated into the interior of the bookstore in abstract ways. The water of the river is reflected in the black, reflective floor that mimics the effect of water. 

The bookstore features a main reading room with sculptural, white pillars and arched shelving (which is a nod to the arched bridges), a pavilion-like kid’s area, and a lobby. The kid’s space features a merry-go-round, roller coaster, hot air balloons and pirate ships which give kids a place to both read and play. The wooden shelving is painted in vibrant colors and the ceiling resembles a starry sky.

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Source: Retail Design Blog

2. Seashore Library

Located in Hebei, China, the Seashore Library was designed by Vector Architects with project architecture Chen Liang. From the outside, this library looks like a weathered rock, but its wooden interior looks homely and welcoming. The library is home to a reading area, a meditation space, activity room, a drinking bar and a resting area.

With large windows bringing in natural light, that lights up the entire space through large windows. The library space has piled up seating platforms raised toward the back so that everyone has an undisturbed view looking out at the ocean. The part of the building that lies closest to the ocean is enclosed by a series of operable glass walls at ground level. When the weather is nice, the walls are open to the sea directly connecting inside and outside.

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Source: Arch Daily 

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Source: Arch Daily

3. Liyuan Library

Liyuan Library is a unique library located in the Huairou district of Beijing. From the outside, it looks like a wooden structure, but on the inside, it is a modern oasis. With no power supply, the building is fully glazed to allow the largest amount of daylight to enter. Due to the lack of power, the library has no heating or air conditioning.  

To cool the library during the summer months, the entrance of the library on the lower level is above a pond so that the cool air above the water is sucked into the house. Windows are also strategically placed so that the breeze can pass through the building. To keep the building warm, the roof is covered with firewood, but the wood is sandwiched between two layers of glass so that heat will be trapped inside.

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Source: Archi Travel 

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Source: China Daily USA 

4. Fangsuo Bookstore

Inspired by the history of Xuanzhang - a famous Chinese Buddhist monk in the Tang Dynasty that practiced his religion at  Daci Temple -  Fangsuo Bookstore is a beautiful store located in Chengdu, China. The bookstore is located at the underground level of the commercial street which surrounds Daci Temple. The architects of this bookstore had the idea of creating a modern underground sutra depository. A sutra depository is a private place to store knowledge, such as books, sutras, and letters in ancient China. 

When creating this bookstore, many raw materials and techniques were used to resemble an ancient sutra depository. Examples of this can be seen in the concrete columns with large cutting surfaces, the bookcases in the loft,  and the bridge and catwalk across the bookcases.

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Source: Arch Daily

China 9.jpg

Source: Arch Daily 

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About the author

Ji Guo is a former professional travel writer. He's started several businesses in China and was born in Tianjin. Graduated from Yale University.


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