New chapter as Shanghai Book City reopens
Shanghai Book City, the city's largest bookstore and a landmark, reopened to the public on Saturday after its renovation was completed.
Located on Fuzhou Road in Huangpu District, the bookstore, which opened in 1998, was shuttered in December 2021 for refurbishment.
The renovation has ensured the bookstore will have multiple functions, as well as giving it a brand new and fashionable look to cater for young readers. Diverse services and cultural experiences of reading, exhibition, theater, coffee and dining will be offered at this comprehensive cultural space.
The bookstore also launched a citywide reading brand titled "Xinhua Yuedu," which will promote happy reading to various groups of people. By using books as a medium, the reading activities will link readers from enterprises, government units, and schools and meet the personalized needs of different readers.
Meanwhile, the bookstore released its mobile app, Shanghai Bookcity, to provide readers with online services. Book coupons, online book purchase service and information about its cultural events will be offered on the app.
Through the app, readers can also interact with writers and scholars through live streaming programs and acquire the latest cultural news and book review recommendations.
The bookstore is becoming a cultural landmark with a smart green concept, and is a successful case of urban renewal.
Chen Qiwei, general manager of the Shanghai United Media Group, noted that after the renovation, energy consumption at the bookstore will be reduced by 40 percent.
Famous local writer Sun Ganlu said that each time he came to the bookstore he was surprised.
"I am a frequent visitor to the bookstore as a reader," Sun said. "I am also a witness to the city's consistent efforts in upgrading its bookstores and promoting reading programs among citizens."
In addition to abundant reading resources, the bookstore will hold a variety of reading activities and lectures. Cultural celebrities, scholars and writers including Ge Jianxiong, Liang Yong'an and Sai Lei will interact and exchange with readers through book signings.
Chief designer Yu Ting applied the theme of books throughout the renovation. The exterior walls of the bookstore are artistically book-shaped and equipped with large floor-to-ceiling windows to let the sunshine in.
The first floor of the Shanghai Book City has been turned into a public cultural plaza, which is also the starting point for people to enter the interior of the bookstore.
"It introduces the horizontal pedestrian route of Fuzhou Road from the outside to the interior, and transforms from the horizontal to the vertical from the second to seventh floors, creating a vertical and micro city of books," Yu said.
From the second to seventh floors, hundreds of thousands of books are orderly arranged in varied categories of famous masterpieces (2/F), social science (3/F), children's book (4/F), education (5/F), lifestyles and arts (6/F), and academic research and art design (7/F). They're available for readers to read and purchase.
Owl Comedy, a popular theater has been introduced to the bookstore's sixth floor to offer theater-themed bazaars, stand-up comedy performances and magic shows.
On the seventh floor, artworks of Mari Kanstad Johnsen, Bjørn Rune Lie and Kristin Roskifte are displayed at the newly launched Shanghai Illustration Art Center. All these paintings record the three artists' observations and discoveries in the glamorous city of Shanghai.
In the future, the varied theme spaces of the bookstore will become an ideal venue to host many kinds of cultural events such as book signings and salons, film exhibitions, comic book exhibitions, photography exhibitions, fashion shows, small concerts, vocal classes, and markets of creative cultural products.
Shanghai Book City is expanding the boundaries of book selling and becoming a comprehensive "city" of cultural consumption.
Peggy Wu, a 30-something company worker and mother of an eight-year-old boy said that the newly renovated bookstore, with lots of public spaces for reading and relaxation, will be a popular destination for her son and friends to spend weekends.
Shanghai Book City
Opening time: 9:30am-9:30pm
Address: 465 Fuzhou Rd
The bookstore is at the intersection of Fuzhou Road and Hubei Road. You can use Metro lines 1 or 2, exiting at People's Square Station, Exit 15. There are also various bus options, including 15, 40, 45, 49, 824, 830, and 927, to reach the location.