David Cantalupo, co-founder of The Bookworm, takes a phone call at the bookstore in Beijing on Tuesday as customers look on. The store, a cornerstone of the expatriate literary community in the Chinese capital, announced it would close on November 11 having been unable to renew its lease. Photo: Simon Song

The Bookworm, a centre of literary life in Beijing, to close, unable to renew its lease amid crackdown on ‘illegal structures’

  • A cafe, a community centre, a place for lively discussion and for authors to meet their readers, The Bookworm has survived for 17 years in the Chinese capital
  • Co-founder says it is a victim of clean-up by city planners, and won’t speculate on a political motive; patrons take to social media to voice their sadness
Topic |   Books and Literature

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David Cantalupo, co-founder of The Bookworm, takes a phone call at the bookstore in Beijing on Tuesday as customers look on. The store, a cornerstone of the expatriate literary community in the Chinese capital, announced it would close on November 11 having been unable to renew its lease. Photo: Simon Song
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Elaine Yau

Elaine Yau

Based in Beijing, Elaine is a senior reporter on the culture desk. She covers food, fashion, travel, health and fitness, music, film and TV, arts, lifestyle, as well as insider tips on the best of Beijing. She studied translation in Hong Kong and taught secondary English before joining the South China Morning Post.