The Page One store in Sanlitun Village is now open and your intrepid Agenda editor paid a visit to be one of the first to have a look. It’s an impressive looking store, with high-shelving and spacious layout across two floors.
The first floor is smaller, and mostly home to a substantial array of coffee-table books on the arts, fashion and a selection of the latest books in. The upstairs is significantly larger, and home to perhaps 3/4 English to 1/4 Chinese books, along with a selection of stationery and paraphernalia. The book selection here is impressive in terms of sheer numbers – clearly this is the biggest selection of English books of Beijing. The stock is however more of what you might be familiar with from other book stores, however: lots of pop economics and business books; loads of travel and food/cook books; a good range of popular fiction, especially fantasy; a selection of the (out of copyright) classics; and smatterings of biography, innocuous politics and current affairs. What it lacks is a heavyweight political and current affairs section for the serious reader. If you are satisfied by a book like Freakonomics you will find the new Page One entirely to your taste. If you want something a bit more challenging, you’ll still be waiting.
Parents will be happy to know that upstairs there is a large selection for kids, starting around middle school age up to young adult.