Visited: June 2010
I can’t remember if I happened to be visiting China and thought I’d try and find one of the World’s coolest bookshops or if I was trying to visit one of the World’s coolest bookshops that just happened to be in China. Either way, my main goal on getting to Beijing was to go to this place.
The Bookworm sells English language books old and new. You can also use the place as a library. It makes sense that it exists near to the UK, US, New Zealand and other embassies as there must be lots of ex-pats spending their cash and time here. It is a wonderful place. Regularly holding reading and poetry evenings and lectures. It also has a fantastic restaurant and bar and is a great place to hang out. I don’t think you could cram anymore cool things into one place.
I loved the wonderful dark wooden bookcases and spent a good few hours browsing them in-between beers. The Bookworm sells and publishes titles that you probably wouldn’t find in Chinese or in China for that fact but there are also some translated classic Chinese novels….’Dream of the Red Chamber’ for example.
I almost bought ‘Dreams..’ but in the end I went for some politics. A novel called ‘Change’ by Mo Yam translated into English. A personal but fictionalised account of a young boys view of communism and the every day life changes China has experienced in the last few decades. I also bought ‘Socialism is Great!’ a memoir of Lijia Zhang a factory worker turned journalist and her experiences in the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
So, is The Bookworm a bookish place for bookish people?
Absolutely, The Bookworm is the kind of place that reminds you why books exist; to educate, to inform and to enlighten. In a country where censorship is rife, this place is a haven with a great atmosphere and community spirit.
Sadly, my pics don’t do the place justice. I think their website does it far better: http://beijingbookworm.com/
Buchhandlung Liebe Score: ♥♥♥♥♥