Shanghai pop-up store brings in bookworms

Shanghai pop-up store brings in bookworms
PHOTO: China Daily/Asia News Network

A temporary bookstore hosting book talks in the grounds of a historic Shanghai villa has become one of the city's latest attractions.

The store, housed in a futuristic wooden structure built in the courtyard of the renovated 19th-century Sinan Mansion, has 3,000 books of different genres over 30 square meters.

The project organizers-Shanghai Century Publishing Group, the Youye Group and the Shanghai Authors' Association-have said they will invite famous authors to talk to readers.

"We want this place to become a bridge between writers and readers; to promote people's interest in reading by talking to their favourite writers face to face," said Feng Jie, a spokesman for the store.

Feng said every invited writer will stay inside the bookstore for a whole afternoon to read from their work and take questions from visitors.

Wang Naiyu, 66, who arrived at the bookstore early on Tuesday, said: "This is an novel project, and I really like it. I will wait for the author to come and listen to their reading suggestions."

Tian Yazhu, 19, came to the store with her mother and was eager to meet author Zhou Xiaofeng. She had bought Zhou's book, Like a Migratory Bird. "Choosing a book is always difficult for me, but listening to a famous writer's opinion solves the problem," she said.

The pop-up bookstore is part of Sinan Modern Age Season 2, a two-month event held at Sinan Mansion to recreate the old city through attractions such as vintage restaurants and costumed photo studios.

Organizers also want the store to act as a pilot project for Sinan Seowon, a concept bookstore they are planning for another historic mansion nearby.

According to Feng, Sinan Seowon will follow the style of the temporary store, with book talks by published authors and a cafe.

"Bookstores are not just for buying books, they are also places for learning and communicating," Feng said.

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