After almost two decades in the business of providing the city’s book enthusiasts with food for thought, beloved Sanlitun institution The Bookworm will close its doors on Monday, Nov 11.
A statement issued via the bookstore’s official WeChat account on Tuesday afternoon describes how, “Despite our best efforts, we appear to have fallen prey to the ongoing cleanup of ‘illegal structures,’ and we have not been able to secure an extension of our lease,” adding, “This is particularly disappointing given that, despite many challenges, at this time The Bookworm remains a thriving business with stronger, more diverse links to the wider Beijing community than ever before.”
According to the announcement, management is currently attempting to find a new location, but for now you can support the store by heading in and buying books at a “heavily discounted” price.
The closure marks the end of a rich chapter in Beijing’s literary history. Over the years, countless expats and locals climbed the store’s iconic staircase, lured inside by one of the venue’s many events or the warm glow of the red lanterns in their dining area. As well as providing a welcoming space for bibliophiles, The Bookworm stood as a beacon of hope in an era where countless independent bookstores and established publishing houses have long since fallen under the axe.