In Cafetique, Shanghaiist reviews coffee shop and cafes around Shanghai that provide the two things our writers need most in life: caffeine and wireless internet. How does your neighborhood hangout spot stack up?
What: 2666 Library, named after the posthumous novel by Robert Bolano about degeneration in the 20th century.
Where: 1025 West Nanjing Road, building 136.
Atmosphere: The 2666 library is very small, and two of its walls are covered with books. Most of them are Chinese, but there’s a sizable number of English titles, most of them novels. They also have a shelf of books from Penguin, including several of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. A good chunk of the English books are reviewer copies. They also have some literary magazines lying around, though most of them are in Chinese. The English-language magazines they have – which include copies of the New Yorker and Paris Review – are from last year.
The place is very small, with a couch in the corner, a table in the middle with a few chairs. 10-15 people could sit down comfortably.
Music: Depends. Some days its atmospheric Brian Eno like music, some days its old Jazz (they were playing Rosemary Clooney one day) and sometimes its classical music. It’s always kept at a low volume.
Food and Drink: Basic selection of coffee and tea for 20-30 rmb. They also have some harder liquors like Cuervo, for the Ernest Hemingways out there.
Wifi: They have it. No password is needed, just log on.
Overall: It’s great little find for readers, especially those who like finding surprises.
By Robert O’Connor