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Top 7 bookstores not to miss in China

Librarie Advant-Garde-先锋书店

Librarie Advant-Garde has been listed as a top 10 most beautiful bookstore in the world by media like the BBC and CNN in the last several years, along with others like the famous Shakespeare & Company in Paris.

最近几年,先锋书店先后被BBC、CNN等媒体评为世界最美书店之一。一同上榜的还有巴黎著名的莎士比亚书店。

The bookstore, founded 20 years ago, now sits in an underground garage in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The 4,000-quare-meter space houses more than 300,000 copies of books, mainly philosophy, literature, history and art.

先锋书店创建于20年前,现坐落于江苏南京的一个地下车库里。总面积4000平米,内有30万册图书,主要是哲学、文学、历史和艺术类书籍。

The setting of Ernest Hemingway's short story, "A Clean Well-Lighted Place", can well describe the general atmosphere at Librarie Advant-Garde. But what is more, there are two black crosses hanging on the walls of the two entrances, creating pious solemnity—reading is a religion.

海明威有篇题为《一个干净明亮的地方》的短篇小说,可以用来形容先锋书店的整体感觉。不过,书店的两端入口的墙上分别挂着一个黑色的十字架,营造了一种虔诚的肃穆感:阅读是一种信仰。

Taking a stroll around the whole space and picking up one or two your beloved books on a chilly, rainy day is one of the best activities for book lovers.

对于爱书人来说,在一个清冷的雨天,去先锋书店逛一逛,挑一两本喜爱的书读一读是最好的享受了。

Eslite in Suzhou-苏州诚品书店

Eslite in Taiwan is a paradise for many book lovers. My friends who've been there said that it's the kind of place that once you enter, you can never easily leave.

台湾的诚品书店是很多爱书人的天堂。一些去过台湾的朋友回来说,一旦你进入那里,就很难离开。

As the brand's first bookstore in the mainland, Eslite in Suzhou is not simply a bookstore, although it houses about 500,000 copies of 150,000 book titles, of which one-third are from Taiwan. They have a special philosophy and organize books and the same-themed cultural creative products. Readers usually bump into surprises when they are searching for their books. 

苏州诚品是大陆的第一家诚品书店,不过它不仅仅是个书店。店内摆有15万种书,共计50万册,其中有三分之一来自台湾。诚品书店的摆书风格很独特,他们会在同一主题区再摆上文化创意产品。人们常常在寻找目标图书时撞见其他惊喜。

When you are tired, you can go to the café and order a pot of "On the Road", "Tender is the Night" or "Bonjour Tristesse".

如果你逛累了,可以转入咖啡店,点上一壶咖啡。你可以选"在路上","夜色温柔"或者"你好忧愁"。

Soon this year, maybe in summer, people in Shanghai will have their own Eslite. Are you ready?

很快上海的朋友们将迎来自己的诚品,也许会是七月。你准备好了吗?

Zhongshuge Bookstore-钟书阁书店

Walking into the bookstore is like entering a sea of books, above the ceiling overhead, beneath the floor under your feet, in shelves on the walls, and under the steps of the staircases. All Zhongshuge bookstores are designed by the same architect, and the goal, first of all, is to build bookstores appealing to the eye. Looks matter.

走进钟书阁宛如走进书的海洋。在你头顶的天花板上,脚下的地板下,墙上的书架里,以及楼梯下面都放了书。所有的钟书阁书店都是由同一个建筑师设计,首要目标是要建漂亮的书店。什么都要看脸呀。

It's a little bit noisy with so many tourists coming and taking pictures.

许多游客来来往往拍照片,所以书店有些吵。

The Bookworm in Beijing-北京老书虫

It's a cozy place, several-minutes' walk from Sanlitun Village. Some people compare it to Shakespeare & Company in Paris because of the general antique style. The books are organized according to authors' names in ABC order. The Bookworm sells mostly English language books so the major customers here are foreigners.

老书虫离三里屯只有几分钟的路,很温馨的地方。有人将它跟巴黎的莎士比亚书店媲美,主要原因是二者都是古香古色的风格。书店的书是按照作者名字的首字母顺序排列。老书虫主要卖英语书籍,所以大部分的客户是外国人。

You can buy new books, or borrow books from the store's library. Periodically, The Bookworm will host a series of book-related activities like its annual International Book Festival.

你可以买新书,或者从书店的图书馆借书看。老书虫定期会举行一系列跟书有关的活动,比如国际图书节。

One Way Street Library-北京单向街

Many people might be familiar with the calendar by One Way Street, each black-and-white page having a quote from an author to represent a mood for the day. Many youths who love literature and art love the calendar.

很多人都很熟悉单向街出的日历,每一页黑白底上引一句某个作家的名言来代表一天的心情,受到广大文艺青年的喜爱。

When you go the bookstore, you will first see a whole wall of creepers and several street cats idling around. On the first floor are books and a café. The second floor is used to host activities. When you take enough spiritual food, you can feed the cats some food too.

去花家地的单向街书店的时候,首先会看到满满一墙爬山虎,还有几只闲散的猫。书店的第一层是书和咖啡店,二层用来举办活动。如果你吃饱了精神粮食,就给喵儿们喂喂食物吧。

Fang Suo Commune-广州方所书店

The entrance of Fang Suo is not big, but when you get in, you will find a very big but private space.

方所的入口不大,但是走进去会发现空间很大,同时很私密。

The space is carefully designed. In the center is the café, and outside of it is space for exhibition and plants. The outmost area is for books and fashion.

整个书店空间设计颇费心思。中间是咖啡店,外面的区域留给展览、植物和生活美学。最外面的是书和时尚服饰。 

Poplar Kid's Republic-蒲蒲兰绘本馆

This fairyland of picture books sits in Beijing's CBD among the jungle of concrete office buildings. Kids are the major readers, so the design tries to inspire kids' curiosity to explore books.

这座绘本乐园坐落于北京的中心商业区、写字楼的水泥森林里。儿童是主要的目标读者,所以书店的设计风格要激发孩子们阅读的好奇心。

Pushing the glass doors open, you will see drawings and craftworks by children hanging on the pink walls, which immediately leads you into a colorful world.

推开书店的玻璃门,你会看到粉色的墙上挂满了儿童画作和手工作品,立刻就被领进一个丰富多彩的世界。

The floors are covered with carpets in seven colors. Children can crawl into cubbyholes in the shelves to read. Isn't there no better world for them than that which lets them hide from reality and explore a magical world in which they can be whoever they want?

书店的地板铺有七色地毯。孩子们可以爬到书架上的洞洞里读书。对于小朋友们来说,世界上再也没有比逃离现实、躲进一个可以成为任何人的魔幻世界里更好的体验了吧?

2016-06-22

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