Tongji University opens first brick-and-mortar bookstore

Covering an area of 325 square meters, the store has more than 10,000 books of various categories, ranging from design and arts to science and humanity.

Tongji University opened its first bookstore on Friday, which turned a messy street corner into a pleasant place where people can read, communicate and share knowledge. It's one of the programs organized by the university to celebrate its 111st anniversary.

Covering an area of 325 square meters, the store has more than 10,000 books of various categories, ranging from design and arts to science and humanity.

The bookstore also has a coffee shop where consumers could enjoy reading while having some drinks and cakes.

People can place orders via touch-screen kiosk where they can also play video games and read digital magazines.

“Our university press used to have a salesroom but was closed due to bad business and this is the first physical bookstore that opened by Tongji,” said Jiang Dai, vice editor in chief of Tongji University Press.

“We all know that a bookstore can hardly survive if it only sells books,” she added. “So we hope to build it as an open, inclusive and shared place for knowledge spreading, communication and innovation inspiration.”

The university tore down about 30 meters of the university wall at the junction of Siping and Chifeng roads, to make the store open to the public directly.

There is also a garden behind the store, which is expected to host small-sized concerts or artistic exhibitions.

This is the second physical bookstores opened by local universities this year.

The city authorities are trying to build up a network of diversified and vigorous bookstores in Shanghai to promote public reading. It plans to build eight or nine university bookstores this year alone and aims to have all the over 60 universities in the city to have their own physical bookstores.


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