Singapore publishing house Page One opened their Hangzhou premises sometime in the middle of last year and our collective expectations were high, given their reputation in cities such as Hong Kong and Bangkok. However, for some reason unknown to us, the selection of English titles was pitiful to say the least. Yes, they had plenty of book s in the design and architectural sections, but not everybody is a budding William Morris or Christopher Wren, so on the whole it was rather disappointing. However, a recent visit revealed that they’ve gotten their game together and now you can’t keep me out of the place. It’s not a Waterstones or a Barnes & Noble, but it’s very, very close and in a city renowned for its shortage of English reading material, this is, without doubt, a beacon of light.
All tastes are catered for with a very large selection of fiction, non-fiction, classics, and guides. The children’s section is well thought out with a seating area and TV screen and the selection is admirable to say the least. You can now pick up The Gruffalo for example, in both English and Chinese. There is also a particularly good Young Adult section with all the books that my eldest is familiar with including the Percy Jackson series. Cook books featuring Nigel Slater and Ferran Adria were one of my highlights, but that’s just me, as I’m sure there really is something for everybody. Take your time to look around and blissfully browse the bookshelves and rediscover the magic that is reading and if you’re going to be a frequent visitor, like me, then take advantage of the membership scheme which entitles you to a discount for your purchases and notifications about new releases and events.