Ten Chinese bookshops that display books in imaginative ways

Yangzhou Zhangshuge bookstore's tunnel interior

From shops that display books on tree trunk columns to stores that reflect books all over the walls, we’ve rounded up ten bookshops in China that exhibit books in non-traditional ways.


Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore by X+Living

Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore, Chongqing, by X+Living

Mirrored ceilings and zigzag staircases create the disorientating interior of this bookstore in southwest China designed by Shanghai-based studio X+Living.

The books that line the many walls are amplified by mirrored panels on the ceiling, giving the illusion that there are thousands of books within the store.

Find out more about Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore›


Bookstore by Wutopia Lab

Cifi Xintiandi bookshop, Shanghai, by Wutopia

Perforated aluminium and quartz stone were used for the bookshelves in this maze-like Shanghai bookstore by local architecture studio Wutopia Lab.

The 452-square-metre bookstore is made up of interconnected cave-like spaces for relaxing and admiring the many plants dotted around the shop.

Find out more about Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore›


Harbook store by Alberto Caiola

Harbook, Hangzhou by Alberto Caiola

Books are exhibited on steel archways and giant geometric display stands inside this book and concept store in Hangzhou, China, designed by Alberto Caiola.

Caiola designed the geometric forms and silver coloured surfaces to attract young urban customers to the Harbook bookshop.

Find out more about Harbook›


Yangzhou Zhangshuge bookshop by Li Xiang

Yangzhou Zhongshuge, Zhen Yuan, by XL Muse

Floor to ceiling arched bookshelves and a black mirrored floor create a tunnel of books inside this store.

Shanghai studio XL-Muse looked to the waters in the surrounding Zhen Yuan area to design the shop with the mirrored flooring emulating the reflective quality of water.

Find out more about Yangzhou Zhongshuge›


Mumokuteki Concept Bookstore by LUO Studio

Mumokuteki Concept Bookstore, Bejing, by LUO Studio

Chinese architecture firm LUO Studio inserted translucent rotating walls that pivot inside the interior of this bookshop in Beijing.

Located in the basement of a retail mall in the Chinese capital, Mumokuteki Concept Bookstore has books, design objects, flowers, food and coffee for sale.

The rotating walls, which are composed of a steel frame and frosted plexiglass, act as dividers or partitions, allowing the store owners to adapt the space as they see fit.

Find out more about Mumokuteki Concept Bookstore›


The interiors of The Glade Bookstore in Chongqing

The Glade Bookstore

Books are hidden behind translucent glass panels at The Glade Bookstore in Chongqing, which was designed by architecture studio HAS Design and Research.

Nestled among a range of nearby high rise buildings, the bookshop and restaurant makes use of calming colours and materials to contrast the bustle of the city outside.

Find out more about The Glade Bookstore›


Shanghai Sanctum bookstore by Wutopia Lab

Sinan Books: Shanghai Sanctum, Shanghai, by Wutopia Lab

Chinese architecture studio Wutopia Lab designed Sinan Books: Shanghai Sanctum to resemble a map of the human body and mind.

The metaphorical “subconscious” part of the body is located on the first floor of the building, while the entrance level represents the building’s heart, the third floor symbolise the eyes and ears, and the top floor the brain.

Find out more about Sinan Books: Shanghai Sanctum›


Xiadi Paddy Field Bookstore of Librairie Avant-Garde by TAO

Paddy Field Bookstore, Xiadi Village, by Trace Architecture Office

Trace Architecture Office transformed an abandoned house into a store for independent booksellers Librairie Avant.

The bookshop is mostly hidden from the outside as it is tucked into the old rammed earth gables of the building in the remote countryside. A cantilevering cafe space projecting from the building is the only clue to the building’s total transformation.

Find out more about Paddy Field Bookstore›


Hubei Foreign Language Bookstore by Wutopia Lab

Hubei Foreign Language Bookstore, Wuhan, by Wutopia Lab

A third bookshop by architecture studio Wutopia Lab is located in Wuhan, China. The studio renovated the Hubei Foreign Language Bookstore by inserting a shard-like glass lightwell that pierces through six floors.

Triangular aluminium plates that form the facade on the exterior are designed to mimic the unique lightwell inside.

Find out more about Hubei Foreign Language Bookstore›


A mirrored bookstore

Zhongshuge-Hangzhou, Hangzhou, by XL-Muse

An oval room in this bookshop in Hangzhou by Shanghai studio XL-Muse has stepped shelving for books, while tree-trunk-shaped columns are used to display books throughout the store.

Mirrors give the impression that the rooms are larger than they are.

Find out more about Zhongshuge-Hangzhou›

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