There’s nothing quite like spending some time in a bookstore, but the experience of browsing through inspirational titles and searching for interesting authors is heightened even more if the surroundings are really unique. One such example is the recently opened Zhongshuge bookstore in Beijing that has guests pass through magical tunnels made of books and includes calm study areas.

Located at the Galeries Lafayette department store at Xidan Plaza, the bookshop includes a serene study hall where visitors can catch up on some work or just sit with a new book. There’s also a cultural and creative area, and younger guests can unwind in little nooks and crannies, while the floor has an eye-catching world map design.

Zhongshuge bookstore
The children's area has been designed to capture the imaginations of younger readers © X+Living

The bookshop was inspired by the look and feel of classical Chinese gardens, while the bookshelves are both a canvas and a wall, making the rounded door porches look like paintings filled with colorful books, guiding visitors into a labyrinth. Other elements include mirrored surfaces, while the café’s layout is inspired by a classical Chinese painting called 'Qu Shui Liu Shang. Behind a door there lies a bamboo forest with simplified wooden branches.

Zhongshuge bookstore china
The bookstore also has a café © X+Living

“All of the bookstores that we designed are inspired by local culture. The classical gardens and the reading space collided from three different perspectives, I think that’s what makes it different from traditional bookstores. We connect various functional areas with different formats of space layout. Visitors will get more interested and more curious in spaces like this and feel more connected,” a representative of X+Living, the architecture firm behind the project, told Lonely Planet.

The company also said that reaction has been incredibly positive from members of the public who have had a chance to see the space. Interesting spaces like this seem to be a growing trend, like the stunning bookstore that was recently opened inside a former church in Shanghai, with modern designs installed in the building that dates back to 1931.

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