As I mentioned in a previous post, I planned to spend the Easter holidays in Shanghai. Although I was only there for a long weekend, I went out of my way to fit in a bit of book-related tourism. In my research I found that Fuzhou Lu was a great street to find numerous treasures. Full of bookshops and calligraphy shops I was glad I took some time to browse around this street.
I only went into the Shanghai Foreign Languages Bookstore but was completely unprepared for the sheer amount and quality of English-language books I found there. Not only was the selection great, but the books in China are so much cheaper than in Hong Kong!! I found a brand new edition of George Orwell’s 1984 for 22 Yuan (which is around £2.40) and the average price of books were around £5-6. Though I didn’t buy the Orwell (I already have a copy back in the UK), I did find Shirley Jackson’s short story collection named after the controversial piece, ‘The Lottery’, which I was very pleased with as I have been unable to find a hard-copy in Hong Kong.
I have already started on The Lottery collection and can tell that I am going to love it even more than We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Jackson is an excellent short-story writer and her tales are dark and engrossing. Just by reading the first few stories on the plane journey home I was hooked.
I also stumbled across a Sherlock Holmes inspired cafe in the French Concession area which made me feel right at home. Named 221B Baker Street, this cafe (perhaps verging on the expensive side, compared to how cheap you can normally get food) served some delicious sandwiches, cakes and Sherlock-inspired coffees and cocktails. I decided on the Moriarty coffee, which consisted of iced-coffee and vanilla ice-cream with a slice of carrot cake which almost rivalled that of Kubrick‘s. This cafe has definitely inspired me to read more of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories as well as re-watch the BBC Sherlock series, which was amazing. Here are a few pictures from the cafe: