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The Bookworm 书虫书吧

This sleek lending library and bookshop has the best selection of English language books and magazines in town and is often cheaper than Amazon et al. The bibliophile manager arranges a fabulous lecture series that features both local and international authors. Other draw cards include the rooftop terrace, comfy couches and a kitchen that serves European fare. Quiz night every Monday at 7.30pm.

Location 

Sanlitun
三里屯
Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu
Chaoyang District
朝阳区
工体北路4号院
50-80 per person
Daily 9am-2am
6586 9507
Yes
No Smoking Sections
All chinese and foreign credit cards

Contact

User reviews of The Bookworm 书虫书吧

horrible event management

Reviewed by Kellya on Tue, 11/06/2012 - 22:16
Joined: Jun 14, 2009
Posts: 0
Review of The Bookworm
1

This was my first time here, and what a terrible experience! I went for speaking event. I knew I'd never make it on time in rush hour, but it didn't look like broad enough interest to get overbooked.

Boy, was i wrong! I was greeted by the manager and a hostile waitress, who looked ready for a fight and immediately informed me they were oversold. They were both very condescending, as though I were stupid for not knowing what a popular establishment this was. I asked if there was a way to book reservations in the future. The waitress, sighing in clear annoyance that I was still there and that she had to answer this question - AGAIN - curtly informs me that tickets can be purchased in store in advance.

This was news to me, since there was nothing on the website about that, or the possibility that things might get oversold. If it's clearly such a common issue, why not just put it online, instead of treating patrons like idiots for not being familiar with your business?

With nothing else to do but wait for rush hour pass, I stayed for dinner - 50 kuai for the smallest burger in Beijing! Afterwards, I couldn't find any staff the take my bill, and had to go to the bar. It was passed from person to person, each yelling at the last to give me change, until finally landed at the rude manager, who took it without looking up, and continued what she was doing until i decided it just wasn't worth it and left.

wow. i mean, just wow. If i never go back here, it will be too soon.

If you just want to read, it's OK

Reviewed by gdn101 on Wed, 07/25/2012 - 22:33
Joined: Feb 05, 2009
Posts: 0
Review of The Bookworm
2

But if you want to do something else, like eat, drink or have anything to do with the staff, you'd be better off going somewhere else.

I go to a happy hour here once a month, where cheap drinks make it worthwhile. But otherwise, the service is ferociously consistent in its incompetence and mild hostility. The last time I was there I even detected a scolding tone - which I found refreshing, yet still unwelcome over lunch.

Terrible service

Reviewed by Max Renn on Fri, 07/20/2012 - 15:35
Joined: Aug 23, 2011
Posts: 17
Review of The Bookworm
1

I have been here twice.

The first time they forgot to bring me my drink, and brought me the wrong dessert.

The second time they undercooked my food, and served my dessert before my main course.

So the service isn't great...

The food is nice, although it is expensive.

I probably won't come here a third time.

EDIT: So I decided to come here a third time. I have been trying to get the waiting staff to serve me for one hour but they refuse. They are playing with their phones and every time I get their attention they just look at me (with a snarl) and go back to playing with their phones. Yet they are willing to serve the Chinese customers. This place desperately needs a manager. WTF.

don't order a salad unless you like being ripped off

Reviewed by beijingsteve on Tue, 07/03/2012 - 11:07
Joined: May 21, 2008
Posts: 0
Review of The Bookworm
1

So, I ordered a spinach salad, which was listed on the board as one of the daily specials, and a vegetable lasagne. I chose a table in the back room and although the place wasn't particularly busy, I had to wander over to the bar to indicate I required some service. When the waiter came over I placed my order He did repeat my order and then went away without writing it down. Sure enough five minutes later he returned to check my order. Soon after he returned to ask for the money up front. Five minutes later he returned to tell me that they didn't have the spinach salad- the daily special, so I went for the Bookworm salad instead. Another couple of minutes later he comes back to ask for the extra ten kwai for the different salad. Now this salad is 72 kwai, and according to the menu should contain sun-dried tomatoes,artichokes and shallots among other things. The lasagne came first and was lacking a bit of flavour, but was o.k. Then the salad arrived. The three ingredients I mentioned were all missing. The sun dried tomatoes had been replaced by normal bland tomatoes and there was no artichoke. The salad was soaked in an overpowering vinegar dressing familar to anyone who has ever eaten at a cheap chain western reataurant in China. So what exactly did I get for my 72 kwai? Some rudeimentary leaves, a boiled egg, a few chunks of canned tuna, a spoonfull of canned sweetcorn, a couple of shaves of carrot and radish, a few dry olives and a boiled egg. I felt royally ripped off. Couldn't be bothered to complain as I was in the place to try to wind down and relax. Never eating there again though.

Usually, books and coffee make a good pair...

Reviewed by mksquinn on Mon, 09/12/2011 - 12:45
Joined: Feb 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Review of The Bookworm
3

But not here! A nice spot, but the lack of drip coffee is quite unforgivable. Although "regular coffee" is listed on the menu, that is not what it is. So,

Dear Beijing,
Why is drip coffee so hard to come by, unless one is willing to stoop so low as to go to Starbucks?

To be fair, whatever they served instead of "regular coffee" was quite acceptable, but it comes in a tea cup. Really!?

the best, but way too expensive!!!

Reviewed by rondawang on Tue, 04/19/2011 - 17:14
Joined: Apr 19, 2011
Posts: 0
Review of The Bookworm
5

of course this is the best bookstore in beijing, not just for the books but for the locations and ambiance and the events and the food too. i have made many new friends here, and attended lots of memorable events such as book signings. i tend to spend hours here sometimes, i lose track of time. but honestly, the books cost WAY too much for me to afford. i can't really understand how they justify their prices. they should either mark down their prices or have a prefered customer card for regulars. either way, i will keep coming here!

One of my favourite hangouts

Reviewed by beijing4eva on Sat, 04/16/2011 - 09:01
Joined: Apr 15, 2011
Posts: 3
Review of The Bookworm
5

Great for idling time away with a coffee, browsing through the thousands of books in the lending library, internet surfing or stopping by for brunch. The cafe/restaurant is good, with a nice range of fresh-squeezed juices and not-too-extortionate-for-Beijing wines. It gets a big crowded at the weekends though; it's not the kind of place to go in big group, unless you're all keen on standing or there's an event on. The events are frequent and often excellent - writers giving readings, debates, etc. All in all, the Bookworm is one of the best places in Beijing and the kind of place which gives the expat experience a bit of soul.

My kind of a place

Reviewed by sentosa on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 13:02
Joined: Mar 02, 2011
Posts: 16
Review of The Bookworm
5

One of my best places to stop by for getting refreshed by browsing some good books or just having a cup of coffee while working on through the WIFI there. Well they are doing a pretty good job with the festival happening where they invited a lot of authors . Love the place .

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