Guangzhou is home to one of the best bookstores in the world.
That’s our take anyway after learning that China bookstore chain Fang Suo Commune’s Taikoo Hui location was named Bookstore of the Year by the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards. The announcement was made on Tuesday, March 11 and included a range of other honors including the Library of the Year Award and Literary Festival Award. The UK-based global fair started the International Excellence Awards in 2014 to “celebrate and showcase the wonderful activities of the rest of the world’s publishing activity,” according to their website.
The LBF judges were apparently blown away by the Guangzhou bookshop, calling it “breathtaking in scale and concept.” They also highlighted the store’s “vast range and constant activities and events,” according to Xinhua.
Each time you visit Fangsuo Commune you’ll likely see something new. Image via @方所文化/Weibo
Other bookstores that were on the shortlist included BOA Bookstore in Vietnam and Unity Books Wellington in New Zealand.
FangSuo Commune Guangzhou opened in 2011 and is a mainstay for Guangzhou’s centrally located Taikoo Hui. We can attest after more than a few trips to the 1,800-square-meter store that it really is a must-visit shop for Canton-based bookworms.
In September 2018, China Daily compiled a list of Chinese cities with the most bookstores, with Beijing home to 6,719 at the time the article was published. Guangzhou boasted 2,441 bookstores in the survey, while Shanghai claimed 2,379.
[Cover image via @方所文化/Weibo]