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Another visit to Shanghai’s Baixin Stationery Store 4

Today: another visit to Shanghai’s Baixin Stationery Store. This small1 chain of stationery stores used to be called Baixin Bookstore, but they are now known as Baixin Stationery Store. One of their bigger stores is on Fuzhou Road, whereas this branch in Metro City, in Shanghai’s Xujiahui area, is their smallest branch.

I’ll try to use this blog post to recreate the experience of visiting this store ..so there’ll be lots of photos. If you are on a metered connection (i.e. you pay for the data) you might want to leave now and revisit this blog post when you are on a better Internet connection.

Stinky Tofu

Stinky Tofu (yes, that’s the official name)

We (my wife, our kid and me) went to this Baixin branch after finishing our nice lunch (photo above) in the same building: at Shanghai Alley / Food Republic on Metro City’s top floor.

Baixin Stationery store

Baixin Stationery store

Despite it’s small size it has a lot of choice and you can always find special editions of pens there. Look carefully how small the shop is. This is not the entrance, but the whole shop! I don’t know how they managed to fit so much exciting stuff in there.

The employee was extremely knowledgable and helpful. A mix you don’t encounter often on the high street these days.

I bought one of my two Mannish line Pentel Orenz pencils there. Even though I am a big fan of the Orenz, I wasn’t too keen on the new special edition.

Pentel Orenz - Foxy Edition

Pentel Orenz – Foxy Edition

More Mechanical Pencils

More Mechanical Pencils

I am not sure whether this special edition of the Orenz mechanical pencil is aimed again at girls or whether there’s something more strange going on here. I’ll only show you the cover of Pentel’s brochure and the page with the pencils. Some other pages in the brochure are more extreme than the cover, so I omit them from this blog post.

Pentel Orenz Foxy brochure

Pentel Orenz Foxy brochure cover

Pentel Orenz Foxy brochure

Pentel Orenz Foxy brochure

This one is called Foxy (a cooperation with a Japanese artist). and was released in October 2017. There are six different designs and there are foxy themed lead refill containers available, too.

As is common in shops for ‘lifestyle stationery’ in Shanghai, there’s a big selection of Zebra’s Sarasa pens. Here’s a small selection of the Sarasa special edition corner.

Zebra Sarasa Special Editions

Zebra Sarasa Special Editions

At home I am using Lihit Lab products on a daily basis, so I was happy to see that they are popular in Shanghai, too.

There were also other pencil cases I have seen before, like the Zip It line (pictured below) I got to know at the Insights X 2016. They are popular in the UK, too. So much so that cheap knock offs (£2 each) even made it into British shops.

Zip It Monster Pouch

..and there were more exciting mechanical pencils in another corner of this very small shop (pictured below). Here in Europe 0.5mm seems to be the norm and many companies, like Lamy and Graf von Faber-Castell, seem to move away from 0.5mm and shift their offers towards 0.7mm. I assume this must be down to customers preferring bigger lead diameters. Seeing a nice choice of 0.3mm mechanical pencils in Baixin certainly made me happy and gave me hope that small diameters are here to stay.

A few months ago I wrote about the Pacatto sharpeners. I didn’t expect to see one in real life that soon, but there it was. Just another indication that Shanghai’s stationery shops are very up to date.

Pacattor sharpener

With so much nice stationery the Wopex is of course not missing from this store either. Many lifestyle stationery stores in Shanghai sell it.

If you want to try any of the pencils you can make use of Baixin’s sharpening station, which is basically an empty drink bottle with a sharpener screwed on top. I didn’t see the sharpener screw top for sale, though.

Since we’re talking about sharpeners: let’s move on to wood cased pencils and how to protect them. It was nice to see the Hi-uni pencil caps in real life. I read about them in the past, but never saw them on the high street in the UK.

Some of the erasers on sale looked very exotic.

Chinese inks are not that popular in the west (or should that be ‘not yet’), so it was nice to see some new Chinese inks I hadn’t seen in previous years.

Starry Ink

Kokuyo makes some great products. My favourite are their stapleless staplers, but I also like their paper. These multi purpose scissors were new to me.

Kokuyo also had this new product which reminded me very much of the Col-O-Ring.

The employee told us that six months ago Kokuyo started having problems getting the paper, so you can’t get this version with very nice paper anymore. There are still similar products from Kokuyo, but with inferior paper.

Schneider pens have been in Shanghai for many years. When I first saw them it seemed to come as a surprise, because they are not that popular in the UK (which is so much closer to their country of origin).

There was also an abundance of masking tape and related accessories…

..as well as other, more general accessories.

This being Shanghai ‘high tech’ stationery, like this bluetooth printer, is also popular.

It’s using thermal paper like a fax machine and people don’t only use it to print black and white versions of their phone’s photos and cute stickers and images (you can even get lace paper for it) – according to the employee of this store it’s also being used to print to do lists in schools, for the pupils to take home.

What a great shop. I wish there was something similar closer to where we live.

 

  1. I think they have four branches. []

The Bookstore at Oriental Pearl TV Tower’s Gate 8 2

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

Another Shanghai post and a quick look at another bookstore. This one is in Shanghai’s Pudong district, very close to the Oriental Pearl Tower. The official English name seems to be ‘Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum’.

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

Tea and cake

It’s one of the most unusual bookstores I have seen. It is directly outside some of the busiest streets of buzzing Shanghai, the most populous city in the world (more inhabitants than Australia or more than Ireland, Austria and Switzerland together).

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

One of the gardens

Inside, it is an unexpected oasis of calmness, though. When you enter the bookstore you are in the Café area.

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

Nice desk accesories

Coffee and cakes aren’t cheap here, but then again they aren’t that much more expensive than in nearby chains like Starbucks.

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

The bookstore is split into different small buildings

The bookstore consists of several small building, all encased in the garden that surrounds them.

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

..and another building

People can sit there and read a book, while enjoying their hot drinks.

Most tables also have buttons you can press to summon a helpful employee.

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

The whole place was extremely clean, but despite outside being very busy (nearly chaotically busy) there was only one other customer (except us) in all the small buildings..

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

I hope this kind of bookstore can survive. I assume it is somehow subsidised, but I am not sure how long that will last in a fast changing place like Shanghai.

Pearl Life Aesthetics Museum

Next to the Oriental Pearl Tower (Image from Apple Maps)


Quiet! It’s a bookstore

Sisyphe

Sisyphe’s entrance

‘Quiet’ said the employee to a customer. Wherever I look, I see books in the shelves. You’d think this is a library, especially because of what the employee just said, but funnily enough, the employee doesn’t mind talking to another customer ..talking even louder than the customer she just shushed.

We are in a bookstore in Shanghai’s Hongkou Dragon Dream Shopping Centre1.

Inside Sisyphe

Inside Sisyphe

I wonder whether this shushing is some sort of marketing gag – like when you see employees at makeup counters dressed in lab coats – to make you think they are kind of like scientists or pharmacists.

‘Quiet’ is so that people can read their books in the library, but as a store, they want to earn money, so you wouldn’t want to visitors to read the books in the bookstore, you want them to buy the books, at least that’s how I thought it works. The shushing might be intended to make you feel as if you are in a less mundane place. Shushing = library, library = the equivalent of a spiritual 1UP.

Monami Olika and fake Hero Safaris

Monami Olikas and fake Hero Safaris (bottom right)

Like in virtually all bookstores in Shanghai, there’s a nice selection of ‘lifestyle stationery’, i.e. stationery that looks nice and is ‘trendy’. In the photo above you can see some of the cheaper fountain pens they sell: Monami Olikas and fake Hero Safaris (they look like Safaris, but instead of Lamy the brand name Hero is embossed on the barrel).

Sisyphe Fountain Pens

They also sell more formal looking, more expensive fountain pens (on the right in the photo above and in the photo below). These days glass dip pens also seem to be popular in Shanghai (on the left in the photo above ).

Sisyphe Fountainpens

I like bookstores in Shanghai. Many have a very similar choice of stationery to each other, but you can often find new and different stationery – and the stationery always tends to be presented in a nice way.

Coming soon: More blog posts about stationery in Shanghai.

  1. Unfortunately the Carl’s Jr. (a fast food chain from Los Angeles), which used to be on the same floor as this bookstore has disappeared from the shopping mall. []

A visit to Shanghai’s Baixin Bookstore

There’s one video I missed out in my previous series of Shanghai related blog posts: A visit to Shanghai’s Baixin Bookstore in August 2017.

The video is very shaky. Don’t watch if you get dizzy easily.

I couldn’t resist and bought the Delguard in 0.3mm.

Some of the stationery in this video:
0:35 Campo Marzio
0:42 Kaweco
0:57 Picasso
1:05 Parker
1:26 Sheaffer
1:34 Lamy
1:48 Pelikan
1:58 TWSBI
2:08 Juice
2:11 Pilot
2:15 Sarasa
2:22 Stabilo
2:25 Orenz
2:27 Schneider
2:44 Mono
3:00 DelGuard
3:34 Carl


If you liked this video: here’s a small selection of more Shanghai related videos and blog posts.

Visiting the Life by city’super store in Shanghai 

Visiting Lamy’s store in Shanghai’s Raffles City

Visiting a stationery store on Shanghai’s FuZhou Road

Lamy at Raffles City in Shanghai 

Shanghai stationery 

Overpriced stationery in Shanghai 

Muji’s Low Centre of Gravity Mechanical Pencil 

Lamy’s Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean pens