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This article was originally published on March 25, 2011, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

This week a Shenzhen newcomer asked me where she could find books in English in Shenzhen.

When I first came to Shenzhen, there was only "one place in town" for English books: the venerable Book City in Luohu (just west of Mix City, at Da Ju Yuan Station), which can still offer the occasional gem. Upstairs has mostly 19th-century classics and the like; but don't miss the basement where there's an excellent selection of books on art and architecture. [Note: On last visit the basement was being rearranged.]

Not far away, on the northwest corner of Shennan and Shangbu Roads (Ke Xue Guan Station), above the Starbucks, is the Book Center. Browse around; on several floors here you'll find everything from textbooks to a few current best-sellers. [With the closing of the Yiwen Store in Central Book City, this is now the best bet for contemporary books.]

Inside Central Book City
Traveling farther west, you'll encounter Central Book City, north of the Citizen's Center (City Hall) at Shao Nian Gong Station. In the northern part, there are textbooks in the basement, and the usual classics (with a  few current books) on the ground floor.

But walk south, and in the other section of the complex you'll find Aeon (Yiwen) Imported Books, with lots of up-to-date books and magazines. [This is now gone.]

Just to the west is the main Shenzhen Library, where you'll find current magazines on the fifth floor and not-so-current English books on the second. [See more information about the Library and Central Book City here.]

Nanshan Book City
Finally, if you're in Nanshan, check the Nanshan Book City on the southeast corner of Binhai and Nanhai Roads. The selection is similar to that in the Luohu store: textbooks and classics, Chinese lit in English, and the occasional modern volume.

Happy reading!

GPS Info:
  • Luohu Book City = 22.54111, 114.10927
  • Book Center = 22.541319, 114.095069
  • Central Book City = 22.54744, 114.05932
  • Shenzhen Library = 22.54654, 114.05731
  • Nanshan Book City = 22.51956, 113.92941

Click on the links to see the maps::

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