Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Last year found our favourite book store cocooned in scaffolding and closed for renos. Only the KFC out front remained open. What emerged is some kind of cross between a book store, a department store, and a palace. The place has been redone in marble, with three floors still devoted to books,and a large AV section in the basement that has a selection of both foreign and domestic movies and music. Gone are the odd smells and the rows and rows of dull-looking nonfiction. They have been replaced by creatively displayed popular books such as self-help, cartoons, and novels including several foreign books translated into Chinese. Besides books you can buy school supplies, gifts, jewellery, sporting goods, toys, household appliances, and art supplies.
Each section is labelled in English and Chinese, which makes the place quite easy to navigate. By far the most interesting floor for anglophiles is the third floor, which has the foreign languages section including several shelves of English books. It's a great place to meet people who can converse in English, from foreigners to local English teachers to students who are browsing the English books or borrowing the dictionaries to do their homework. Even if you can't read Chinese, the Chinese sections have beautifully illustrated books on architecture, design, cooking and other arts to enjoy. The second and third floors have benches and plenty of ledge and floor space where you can sit, crack open a book, and while away a few hours. Besides the KFC they have a couple of coffee shops and a Hong Kong dessert restaurant on the lower level.