Sunday, August 15, 2010

Han Yuan Book Store 漢源書店

Han Yuan Book Store (漢源書店) is more like a friend's place than a book store or a cafe.  It is is located in a quiet corner of the former French Concession, surrounded by publishing houses, traditional Shanghai-style residences and trees. The exact address is no.27 Shao Xing Road, Shanghai (5 min walk from Shan Xi Road South station, Line 1).

The owner of Han Yuan, Deke Erh, is a photographer based in Shanghai.  Signed copies of his books are available at Han Yuan at no extra cost. The book store carries books on photography, fashion, literature and old Shanghai customs and cultures. Scattered over the place are some old furnitures and antiques from Erh's own collection, which include antique tea sets, calligraphies, paintings, lamps, cameras and aged books. Some photographs of Han Yuan here.

Han Yuan is just the perfect place to have a cup of coffee and to read. You can bring your own books, sit down, order a cup of coffee and stay there for a whole day. No one will ever ask you to buy a second cup of coffee or disturb you from your reading. Sitting in Han Yuan takes you back to the old days, the days when you could idle in the yard in the lazy days of summer, when time seemed to pass slowly and nobody was in a rush. We went to Han Yuan on a Sunday and spent our entire afternoon there. Our daughter found a copy of Sophie's World (an early print which is not for sale).  After reading the first 20 pages she fell in love with it. She found in the middle of the book a bookmark with some scribbles on it which said, "Please leave this bookmark in its place. I love this book and will come back to finish it.". My wife found a reprint of 楊絳《雜憶與雜寫》 and I managed to finish 龍應台《目送》which I never had time to finish. We went to Han Yuan the next day and spent another afternoon there. If there is something in Shanghai that we really miss, it is Han Yuan.


JoyMocha said...

I am a Shanghainese who now lives abroad. I love your article on Han Yuan Reading Room as this is also one of my favorite places in Shanghai, I used to go often when I lived there. I love Aman resort as well and have been to Amanfayun this past Spring, I could not agree with you more on your comments on Amanfayun vs. Bayantree Hangzhou. Even my two year old daughter love the quiet village life in Amanfayun...

W said...

Good to know that my little note is appreciated by someone who know Shanghai.

Yes, after going to Amanfayun, Banyan Tree looks like Disneyland to me.

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