Bookshops are a traveler’s best friend; Greatest Bookshop in Beijing

26/11/2010
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Bookshops are a traveler’s best friend: they provide convenient shelter and diversion in bad weather, they’re a reliable source of maps, notebooks, and travel guides, they often host readings and other cultural events, and if you raced through your lone paperback on the first leg of your trip, the bookshop is the place to go for literrary replenishment.

Here is my pick for the best spots to browse, buy, hang out, find sanctuary among the shelves in Beijing

The Beijing mothership, which has spawned branches in Suzhou and Chengdu, has played a huge role in promoting both local and foreign literature. Not only is it one of the few places in China where you can pick up books which are banned in the country, it has a lending library with 16,000-plus titles. The library is also the setting for a healthy program of events, from gigs to an annual literary festival. There’s even a whisky bar and monthly wine club.