Hai Guang Si Bookstore [海光寺图书城]

  • Address:44-46, 1F, Xin Du Plaza, Weijin Lu, Nankai District, Tianjin
  • Getting there: Take bus No.3,14,161,606,609,628,631,632,633,638,641,646,657,658,669 to Haiguang Temple stop
  • Contact: 022 2777 8505  
  • Opening hours: 9:00-18:00
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With two floors and a pleasant, quiet, wood-furnished atmosphere, the English section is on the upper floor, just off the top of the stairs. The large majority of books available are cheap “Wordsworth” editions of 18th and 19th century classics, from authors such as Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens. The quality of these books is perfectly reasonable, with introductions and annotations to help the new reader; and most retail for less than 40 RMB. (They sell for £1 in Britain, but beggars can’t be choosers, and so on). The contemporary section has less space and sticks to popular writers such as Stephen King, John Grisham and JK Rowling, and biographies and autobiographies of footballers and other inconsequential celebrities. This is indicative of the intellectual level of the books available – there’s no non-fiction on any contemporary matter, no history or politics or biographies of recent politicians. There are some English language books on Chinese subjects, however, such as Chinese cooking, history and language, for those more interested in intellectually acclimatising themselves.

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