Facing the phantom threat from the online selling, some of the retailers of physical bookstores refuse to give in easily and but take an active role in exploring innovative marketing.
So they have chosen to hold their ground, still believing that traditional bookstores must have a place in the era of e-commerce. “The brick-and-mortar bookstores are going the way of the dinosaurs,” you must say. Facing the phantom threat from the online selling, some of the retailers of physical bookstores refuse to give in easily but take an active role in exploring innovative marketing in order to survive the harsh competitions of our time.
Take a stroll in the streets of the city and you my get a surprise at one of the bookstores just around the corner.
The Illu Bookstore hides itself from the hustle and bustle in the quiet Sansheng Village in the eastern suburb of Chengdu. The garden-like area is one of the most attractive places for city residents for weekends and short holidays, and one reason for the bookstore to settle down at the location is that there are a number of artist communities and art galleries in the neighborhood.
Illu Bookstore specializes in art books and its collections are beautifully arranged on the shelves — some of them designed as spiral stairs — and the sunlight from the French windows gives a vivid revelation of everything inside, including the potted plants, the favorites of the shopkeeper Miss Wu.
Miss Wu targets artists and art fans as the customers of Illu, and she thinks the bookstore must provide something special, such as its location, design and inner decor.
The bookstore sells books mainly on art, painting, design, architecture and so on. Not far from the Chengdu Blue Roof Art Gallery, Illu sometimes hosts lectures and seminars, another attraction for art fans. You may also have a secret delight when you find the exquisite notebooks and small handicraft articles, some of which are made by the shopkeeper herself.
Address: #110, Part II, New Blue Roof Art Village, Sansheng Village
The Bookworm is a bookshop, library, bar, restaurant and events venue, now with five locations in three cities in China — Beijing, Suzhou and Chengdu. The spacious, interconnecting rooms with floor-to-ceiling books on every wall make the bookshop a snug sanctuary for bibliophiles.
The Bookworm provides a bountiful assortment of Western food, which attracts a large number of expats in Chengdu, and the roof terrace is perfect place for coffee and cocktail parties.
Every March, The Bookworm becomes a hub of literary, intellectual and creative activity as The Bookworm International Literary Festival take place. With the aim to help more people feel the charm of literature as well as to promote Chengdu’s literature and culture among foreigners, the festival for this year gathered about 100 guests including writers, senior editors, social critics, artists and translators from around the world.
Address: #2-7 Yujie East Road
Tel: (028) 85520177
In Café is a bar where you can have food and drinks while listening to music or watching movies. The design of the bar is to create a quiet, comfortable haven for book fans — soft music in the air, the swing chairs, and the partitioned rooms with the Japanese style mattress, and old style desks and chairs — and anyone would feel the relaxing and pleasant atmosphere the moment he steps into the place.
A variety of activities are often held at the bar: lectures, movie reviews and English salons with invited foreigner hosts, and many visitors to the bar find it a perfect place to make friends with the common interest.
Address: #215 Jinyang Road, Wuhou District
A4 Art Bookstore
The bookstore is a subsidiary facility of the A4 Contemporary Arts Center in Shuangliu County in southern Chengdu, located within the city’s fledging elite, international residential area.
Covering an area of 120 sq.m, the bookstore provides high-end amenities and over 10 thousand books on art, architecture, movies, music and designs for readers.
The bookstore hosts regular reading clubs, art lectures and various salons and has made itself one of the favorite sites for professionals despite its far-flung location.
Address: A4 Contemporary Arts Center, #3 Luzhen-lianhu Road, Shuangliu County