It is not hard to find books in English in Shanghai. Older books and guides printed by local presses are very cheap; however, imported books and magazines are significantly more expensive than back home. Recently, street vendors similar to the ones selling counterfeit DVDs have emerged with trollies of counterfeited foreign books for about RMB10 each. As with all things faked in China, quality is not that high; but they’re mostly perfectly legible. Vendors often linger where foreigners gather but are not nearly as ubiquitous as their DVD friends.
A relaxed atmosphere and a decent if somewhat random selection of English books on offer, though the lack of prices on books is irritating.
Puxi: 325 Changle Lu, French Concession
Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore
One of the city’s largest selections of English-language books and magazines can be found on the fourth floor.
Puxi: 390 Fuzhou Lu
Shanghai Book City
Just down the street from the Foreign Language Bookstore, there’s a decent selection here, though you’ll have to wind your way up a few floors to get to the English-language books. Once there you’ll find both new bestsellers, business books and older classics.
Puxi: 465 Fuzhou Lu, by Fujian Zhong Lu
Old China Hand Reading Room
A charming coffee house that doubles as a bookstore. Opened in 1996 by photographer Deke Erh, there are hundreds of old and new popular books and magazines.
Puxi: 27 Shaoxing Lu
Dandelion Children’s Bookstore
Here you’ll find children’s favorites such as Dr. Seuss and Clifford, as well as Chinese children’s stories to encourage their Chinese fluency.
Pudong: Rm.A-106, 189 Qingtong Lu, Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park