Horay for the Wanfujing Bookstore!

Being the rookie that I am, I had left Sydney thinking that I could easily find a bookstore and pick up a read once I was in China. Bzzzzzzzzt! FAIL!! I don’t know why I thought the common Beijing bookstore would all have books in English -of course they are all in Chinese!

After being in China for 2 weeks, I was STARVING for a good read. You have to understand, I really put myself in what seems like the depths of downtown Beijing, in the Hutongs, where I’m surrounded by locals and the occasional traveller who can speak some english, and that some english is broken, badly.

In my room I have available 106 TV channels but there’s only one in English which is the looping news channel (I swear looping is what happens in Hell). So while I’m up to date with current affairs, I’ve been lacking in free-flowing conversation filled with wit, intellect and humour – all the things I’d get back home over a meal with friends

So I went on the hunt for the largest bookstore in Beijing, and found it in the Wanfujing Bookstore which host 7 floors of books, the 4th floor being Foreign literature – JACKPOT!!

I had been meaning to read Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts for some time, and had been saving it for my trip, however, in all the 3 bookstores I ended up finding that hosted English literature, Shantaram, the book that I really truly madly wanted, was all sold out.

So, to keep me sane, I chose 3 books.

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho – for insightful encouragement (Mark I know you have this book but you could never find it..)

Committed, By Elizabeth Gilbert – I’m curious to learn more about the ideology, and reality, of what marriage and committment is. (don’t get any ideas!)

And Sex and the City, by Candace Burnshell – for laughs and kicks.. and a healthy dose of cynicism.

Now all I need to do is find a second-hand bookstore to swap and restock – being a book-a-day girl, I’ve already gone through 1 1/2 of the 3! So if anyone can recommend a fantastic read, I’d really appreciate it, just email me, or comment.
Thx , T 🙂