Foreigners in Wuhan might think it’s impossible to get their hands on physical foreign language books within the city. As a much less international and cosmopolitan space than Beijing and Shanghai, it’s easy to assume Wuhan lacks an international literary scene, but hidden amongst the many Chinese stores and large commercial centres of the city are hundreds of foreign language books. If your e-reader just isn’t satisfying you any longer, and you need some physical pages to turn, have a browse of these 10 different bookstores in Wuhan.
Located across from the Wuhan Art Museum on Nanjing Road, this dazzling bookstore has a wide variety of everything. On the second floor there is an area you can buy drinks and deserts. Its usually not too busy, and you will also find comfortable places to read, making it an atmosphere you could easily spend an entire afternoon.
A bookstore as warm as home. The entire street is decorated with 2 and 3 story brick homes of last century, and this bookstore fits in perfectly with this style. When you enter, you will see the store is not very big, and there are not too many books, but the categories are vast and well selected. On a rainy afternoon, it may be the perfect place to walk around on the wooden floors and enjoy a cup of coffee. Look out for some books about Wuhan that may be rare or hard to find online.
Sisyphe is a chain of bookstores with several locations across Wuhan, but each of the stores have its own unique characteristics depending on the business district it is located in. This location is in the new Horizon shopping mall across from Wuhan Tiandi. They often hold art, painting, and other popular classes. They will usually play light and relaxed music that is unobtrusive, and you can also order some Oolong Tea or coffee at 35RMB per cup and deserts from 26-28RMB.
Located on the beautiful European style street, HanJie, this shop is far smaller than the Foreign Language Bookstore. You can find many popular classics and the prices are cheap, starting at only 35RMB. Staff are friendly and the store has the perfect location and atmosphere to buy some books and grab a coffee at a café on the way home.
Part of the prestigious Wuhan University, this library has many foreign language books. With large donations from the UK and the US, their foreign language resources have only been increasing. The library also has exchange relationships with more than 100 other libraries from home and abroad, so there are plenty of new books to borrow.
This may be the hottest of the Sisyphe bookstore’s locations in Wuhan, but it is not without its own unique culture and crowd. They often hold art and reading related events, especially on the weekends, and it can get a bit crowded.
At 100,000 SQM, this provincial public library is the largest single building library in China. The building design is integrated with nature, and holds a collection of 10 million volumes. It’s difficult to find a seat during weekdays but still very quiet to study in plus many tables have reading lamps. On the fifth and seventh floor, there are outdoor terrace gardens, and an entire floor dedicated to foreign language books. Online subscription, online renewal, online reference and online transfer are all available. Wifi is quite fast.
Located a the former site of the Wuhan Iron Factory, this dynamic art center features original construction materials from the old iron factory in it’s architecture. There are frequently held events in the theater, art galleries, and bookstore. The road to the Art Center is under construction, so take bus 320 or 564 from Baotong Temple Subway Station to the 403 Art Center.
Boasting some beautiful architecture and large departments, you won’t be stuck for choice. This 10,000SQM bookstore also features a 1200SQM rooftop garden. Many of the books are bound in plastic wrap making it difficult to read in the store and it gets busy in the afternoons, so its recommended that you visit in the morning. If you want to have more comfortable seating in the cafe, the shop keepers may ask that you order a drink.