There was a time when a bookstore is essential. From small family-owned shops to large café-style book stores, this industry has changed tremendously in the last 2 decades. But if there are still any bookstores that are still operating, none would have come close to how the E Pang Bookstore is doing it.
Reading is not a dying culture here
In fact, it is hard to imagine that the E Pang Bookstore in Xi’an City, China is larger and more impressive than some of the top libraries in the world today. It looks as if this bookstore is more about cultivating better reading habits than selling books. The E Pang Bookstore was designed by Taipei’s Gonverge Interior Design, which has already been associated with designing large bookstores in China previously. Among the many that Gonverge has done, this one surely takes the cake.
Combination of a library, book store and everything in between
The size of this bookstore is 3,500 square meters and it is the larges that they have ever designed. It is located at the Fengdong Free Trade Zone in Xixian New Area of the historical city of Xi’an. The name of the bookstore came from the Epang Palace of the illustrious Qin Shi Huang Emperor. The idea of this bookstore came about since there were no available reading rooms around the near region. It is a bookstore as much as it is a library.
Among everything that impresses here, the futuristic and curvy room with reading spaces is possibly the most exciting. This looks every bit like a spaceship or space capsule designed for anyone looking for a place to indulge in literature. For those who are looking for something classical or old-school, there are wooden bookshelves that connect to the ceiling with library-like seating.
And then, there is the bookstore which is connected to a coffee shop. This is where the more familiar scenario that one gets with the experience not only with books but the whole aura of reading, stationeries coupled with the aromatic fragrance of coffee beans.
Can this work in Malaysia?
In Malaysia, the reading habit has been on the decline in the last decade. Retail spaces have been competitive and such a project could work well towards the outskirts or sub-urban cities where property prices are not too high. Such a project like this requires a large space and a lot of awareness on promoting the reading habit.