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Xi’an Shows How Bookselling Should Be Done

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Very grand bookshops are appearing in many of China’s largest cities and one of the most impressive is the recently-opened YJY Maike Centre bookstore, part of a 5,308 sq m development in the heart of the city.

Aside from stocking a massive 130,000 books, which would dwarf most bookshop offers, it is the manner of display that makes this one worth a visit. With floor to ceiling perimeter bookshelves (running to 10m high in places), a mid-shop wooden spiral staircase, linking the store’s two levels and a bar-cum-café on the upper level, this is the sort of place that would make the matter of choosing a book a pleasure.

The shop is actually divided into two zones, with the Library being where books can be perused, while the Gallery is a space where events and art installations, predominantly reflecting China’s heritage, can be viewed.

Even for those for whom picking up a book is not one of the first things that is likely to be done, this is going to be part of the itinerary when in Xi’an. The store design is the work of Ikegai & Bros.