Beijing's best foreign-language bookshops

Bookstores to suit all bookworms

Resolutely anti-Kindle? Finding good reads at good prices can seem tough in Beijing, but these spots will serve you well.

Beijing Books Building (北京图书大厦)

Hundreds of thousands of books pack into a hectic five floors at this Xidan behemoth – anything from the latest lit, political thought and calligraphy to what looks like every textbook ever printed in China. Plenty of people around reading them, too. Fortunately, the foreign imports section on ...

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17 Xi Chang'an Jie (Xicheng, Xicheng)

Wangfujing Foreign Languages Bookstore (外文书店)

Barring the schlep to the touristy parade of Wangfujing, a visit here will usually prove worthwhile, and there's a good chance you'll find what you're looking for – probably at the best price in the city, too. Passing the translations of Xi Jinping Thought that greet you on arrival, the ground ...

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235 Wangfujing Dajie (Wangfujing, Dongcheng)

The Bookworm (书虫)

The Sanlitun book hub has long been the hotspot for the city literati, hosting not only an extensive library of English-language publications, but a range of writers' talks and groups, its own literary festival and various other cultural happenings. Membership to the lending library starts at ...

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Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)

Polyphony 复调

Not a bookshop, per se, but Polyphony does stock the latest editions of a wide range of imported American comics. It’s also super slick, and the minimalist store’s crisp white backdrop lets the bright pages of Batman, Deadpool and Dr Strange (from 38RMB) do all the talking.

Visitors are welcome to hang out and browse the database of titles, all loaded up on iPads. It’s not all high-tech though, and for those seeking a more tactile experience, original titles including Spiderman and X-Men are also for sale (50-150RMB). 

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1 Sanlitun Nan Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)

Page One (Qianmen)

The newest branch of Page One, found amid the Qianmen‘s stylish Beijing Fun development, is a spectacle in itself – a design fest littered with sleek staircases, brushed wood fittings, multi-floor-spanning bookshelves, glass panels and an awesome vista out towards Tiananmen Square. Indeed, many ...

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Langfang Toutiao (Xicheng, Xicheng)

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