This Bookstore In China Will Take Your Breath Away

Zhongshuge bookstore. Photo by Imaginechina-Editorial

Zhongshuge bookstore is located in the commercial center of Star Avenue, Binjiang District, in Chongqing, China. It was designed by XL-Muse studio, whose main idea was to create a space that will prove just how big of a role reading plays in society, and how it is, similar to breathing, vital for our existence.

The design was inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Yangzhou, which used to be a place where many ancient writers and poets gathered in the past.

The plain glass exterior of the building hides the sleek interior made of black, mirrored ceilings and floors, which create an illusion of entering a never-ending tunnel made of books.

The bookstore is divided into four different areas, each inviting visitors to get lost amongst the thousands of books on display. The pure white “reader’s forest” zone leads into a corridor with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves extending endlessly to the side. There is also a peaceful reading room with benches to relax on, a theatrical readers’ hall, and a playground-inspired children’s area. On the 4th floor, there is a leisure area, where visitors can enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea. 

The most intriguing aspect of the space is the double-height hall featuring zig-zagging sets of stairs that lead up and across tall bookshelves that line the walls. The stairs double up as seats, where visitors are encouraged to rest and read as long as they wish to. 

Zhongshuge bookstore is a great place to not only read books but also take the time to think and interact with other visitors. The mirroring surfaces and ceilings dramatically expand the view, creating a sense of infinity, which further emphasizes the importance of reading. It is a creative space where you can browse for a new favorite story or simply spend hours enjoying the peaceful ambiance that will spark your imagination.