The Zhongshuge bookstore, recently completed in the coastal city of Ningbo in China is an Alice in Wonderland of bookstores. Its clever use of mirrors makes it feel like its bookshelves reach to the heavens, while quiet reading corners make it a browser's dream.
Finished just last month, the new Zhongshuge bookstore covers 3,240 ft2 (1,230 m2) spread out across two floors.
As customers enter the bookstore, they'll be greeted by a cafe, a cultural and creative area, a kid's reading area, and bookshelves as far as the eye can see — thanks to the store's surreal mirror ceilings that reflect a double of the store over everyone's heads.
The dark interior finish of the bookstore's main area gives it a particularly grand look reminiscent of something out of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series.
The place is so impressive that first-glance viewers of these images would be forgiven for thinking they're seeing a picture of the library at Trinity College in Dublin, which was famously used to film parts of Harry Potter.
Walnut-colored stairs with large seating banks also do a lot to give this bookstore an impressive university library vibe.
We have to say, it's heartening to see such a place. With a recent study saying that young people read less than they used to, it's great to see this newly built establishment in all its splendor — the type of bookstore many might have thought confined to the past.
Of course, it's not just the fact that people arguably read less that's signaling the potential end of times for physical bookstores, it's also the growing prevalence of digital mediums such as ebooks and audiobooks. In any case, if I lived nearby I would visit this place in a heartbeat.