It's time to turn the page as top bookstore closes for renovation
The 23-year-old Shanghai Book City on Fuzhou Road in Huangpu District will say goodbye to local readers this week as it shuts shop for a renovation which will last more than a year.
The city's largest bookstore is expected to reopen in 2023 with a chic, new-style look, catering to young readers' tastes with more services.
During the revamp, it will move more than 30,000 types of books, mainly those on social sciences, literature, textbooks and reference books, to the nearly 1,500-square-meter sunken plaza at 96 Plaza shopping center.
On a drizzly morning yesterday, the bookstore's last day and also its 23rd birthday, many local residents rushed to the shop, taking pictures with and of the bookstore even though there was still half an hour left for its opening.
A 60-year-old man, surnamed Wu, was the first reader to arrive. He said that he and his daughter were frequent visitors to Shanghai Book City.
Jiang Guoping, a man who retired in 2006, said he has been visiting the bookstore once a week or 15 days during his 14-year retirement life.
Graduating with Chinese major from Harbin Normal University, he especially likes literature books. "I also brought my granddaughter to buy some reference books, since this shop has the widest variety."
Jiang said that he has a deep relationship with the bookstore.
"I used to study at Gezhi High School in Huangpu and at that time, Shanghai Book City hadn't been established. After it appeared, it soon became a cultural 'mecca' for book lovers," he said.
"When I watched the television last night and learned today is its last day. I thought that I must come and have a look before the refitting."
He also likes books about jade ware research. "It's only at Shanghai Book City that I can find such books."
Jiang's only wish is that the bookstore should reopen as soon as possible.
"The new bookstore should be better and I'll be here again when it opens," he promised.
A couple who refused to give their names said they wanted to record how Shanghai Book City looks now for the last time with their own eyes.
Another retired man said his favorite hobby was reading and buying books and that Shanghai Book City has almost become his "second home."
He felt that it's meaningful to visit the shop on this special day.
A mother surnamed Hu, who came from the Pudong New Area, said Shanghai Book City was full of memories about her accompanying her child to read books at the shop.
An undergraduate said Shanghai Book City was like his "gas station" which could "fuel" his inner world.
"The thing I loved the best was spending afternoons at the bookstore on weekends," he revealed.
Since Shanghai Book City announced its closure on October 18, local readers and those from other provinces have been flooding the shop, creating new sales records.
According to Zhao Feng, the bookstore's general manager, its appearance and inner look will undergo great changes after the overhaul. "Possibly the exterior walls will have some large floor-to-ceiling windows to let the sunshine get in."
"The new Shanghai Book City will be a comprehensive cultural space for books and related industries. We will provide more vivid and various ways for readers to enjoy reading," said Jiang Li, vice general manager of Xinhua Media, the bookstore's owner.