The new Putuo reading space complements local libraries

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Yang Jian / SHINE

A new public reading space was inaugurated along Suzhou Creek in the Putuo District today to mark World Book and Copyright Day.

The Suzhou Creek Reading Space is located on the 8th and 9th floors of the Shanghai Putuo Library on Tongchuan Road.

The space is part of a project by the Putuo Culture and Tourism Bureau to create a series of riverside reading spaces to complement district and community libraries. Initiated in 2018, the project aims to improve the cultural ambience of the Suzhou Creek waterfront in Putuo, known as the “cradle of modern Chinese industry,” while promoting the reading habits of the public.

The newly unveiled space covers approximately 2,000 square meters and includes approximately 20,000 pounds and over 100 seats and desks. It also features art installations related to the cove and recreational facilities such as coffee tables and headphones.

A series of events, such as reading fairs and lectures given by famous writers, will take place, some of which will be broadcast live.

The new Putuo reading space complements local libraries

Yang Jian / SHINE

Suzhou Creek Reading Space

The new Putuo reading space complements local libraries

Yang Jian / SHINE

Art installations in the reading space

An exhibition of ancient Chinese books and documents began today in the reading space, with 128 collections of ancient books dating from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Highlights include a history book on China’s geographic and ethnic conditions at the end of the Ming Dynasty, written by historian He Qiaoyuan.

The historical books were donated by local retiree Zhang Yuequn, who began collecting ancient coins, paintings, and books in the 1970s. Zhang helped repair ancient books in the Putuo Library collection.

“I feel sad when I see old abandoned books being sold as something insignificant in flea markets,” Zhang said. “The reading space is an ideal place to showcase the historical value of books to the public.”

Putuo has the longest and most zigzagging section of downtown Suzhou Creek, known as 18 Bays, with many of China’s top domestic industries. Most of the industrial heritage has been preserved and converted into museums and other cultural places.

The new Putuo reading space complements local libraries

Yang Jian / SHINE

The Kangxi dictionary published at the end of the Qing dynasty

The new Putuo reading space complements local libraries

Yang Jian / SHINE

A library employee presents an exhibit.

The new Putuo reading space complements local libraries

Yang Jian / SHINE

People browse the exhibits in the Suzhou Creek Reading Space.



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