As China continues its drive to become a modern society, you can gradually notice that at least from a living perspective, they are constantly trying to imitate things that are other countries excel at – and one of the things that they seem to adopt is Taiwan’s appreciation of literature and “indie” stores, one of the more evident places to experience this is the Librairie Avant-Garde.
The place itself was originally an underground carpark, but has been re-purposed into a book store now – there are similar shops along the road, but the book store is the most prominent shop as you can’t miss the entrance.
Once you’re inside the store, you’ll realise how big it is – the approximate area is about 3,800 sq ft and you can find all sorts of books here. From a distance, the design aspect is actually very calming and pleasant.
Once you’re deeper in, there’s also an area where they held author meet and greets and unique shops – although to be honest, the “indie” items on sale looked a bit tacky.
One thing that Ms. Buddha did notice and mentioned to me as we walked around was whilst there were a wide variety of books available for sale – and in particular books criticising all sorts of government around the world – there weren’t any books critical of the Chinese government – apparently the owners of the store was threatened with sanctions if they sold such material – so much for “Openness of knowledge”. That said, you can find cheeky things dotted around the place 🙂