Ningbo’s Photobook Library


Written by (作者):?Ted Chen 陈云柳
Photos by (图片来源):?Ted Chen 陈云柳 & Sudheer Uralath


On February 20th, 2017, Photobook Library, a bookstore that specifically showcase books on photography, opened in Jiangbei District. We recently sat down with the shop’s owner, Yanyou, to learn more about the project and its purpose.

Yanyou’s story of inspiration goes back 11 years.

In 2006, Yanyou opened a blog called “Fake Magazines” to share foreign designs that he had found online. The reason for the name, as explained by Yanyou, was that real magazines should be printed on paper, rather than solely exist in the form of a digital network. At the time, his goal was to make a print magazine about design, and the blog was seen as a stepping stone.

In 2011, after several tries, Yanyou cooperated with the domestic outstanding young photographer Sun Yanchu and launched their first photography collect, “Obsessed”, for “Fake Magazine”. Since then, “Fake Magazine” has published a series of highly styled photography books.

In 2014, Yanyou moved from Ningbo to Beijing. Even though he had problems with the heavy traffic, bad pollution and rapidly expanding population, this didn’t dispel his desire to live and make a living in China’s capital. It was only after his child was born that he decided to move somewhere where his dreams could take root, finally having become tired of the city. He returned to Ningbo, where in 2016 he got the idea of opening a public bookstore. “Like ‘Fake Magazine’, the bookstore began online, with our eventual goal of opening a real bookstore.”

A year later, the Photobook Library was completed, with Yanyou’s dream finally becoming a reality. Even though most stories stop here, this is only the beginning for Yanyou, who wishes to put the spotlight on photography in the city and inspire Ningbo’s photography enthusiasts.

Being a photography enthusiast myself, I had a lot of dreamy expectations for the Photobook Library as a place that would be bright, quiet, spotless, where we could all enjoy a nice day.

When I walked into the library, I picked up the first book I saw. As I opened it to the first page, I realized everything was as I had imagined and expected it to be. In this little space, the past, the future and present intertwined. I could feel the flow of time, slow and gentle as water. Every book looked charming under the bright warm sunshine. And Yanyou quietly placed a new book on a shelf not far from me.

Yanyou was very kind, his voice was soft, but every word he uttered had an indescribable power. He said that the Photobook Library would cooperate with a domestic photographer to open an exhibition, and that he was very happy that photographers like me could come to the Photobook Library, that there were still so many things for photography he wished to accomplish, and that the Photobook Library belongs to all photography lovers, this was to be a dreamland for photographers.

It is no wonder that the Photobook Library is a dreamland for photography lovers; everything here is quiet, orderly, free and harmonious. The space is home to many wonderful photography works selected from

around the world, domestic outstanding young photographer works exhibitions, open photography art salons, and lots more. Here, you can enjoy your favorite photography, and have a nice conversation with unfamiliar friends who share the same interests as you, you can even just have a cup of coffee and

do nothing but enjoy yourself on a leisurely afternoon, just perusing the store’s vast selection. Here, there is everything about photography.

Perhaps one day, when I come to Jiangbei 8th Park once again, the Photobook Library may not even be there anymore; or perhaps, at that time, it will have become the best photography library in the world.

“I hope that this library will not only allow you to see the best international photography books, but for it also to become a model of the photography scene here in China,” said Yanyou.


2017年2月20日,Photobook Library(摄影书图书馆)正式在宁波江北建成开业。创始人言由说,这是一个关于生活和梦想的情节烂到爆的故事。





一年后,Photobook Library落成。梦想似乎走到了终点,一切好像就要戛然而止。但,这只是另一个开始,对于言由来说如此,对于广大摄影爱好者来说也是如此。

作为一个摄影爱好者,我在去Photobook Library之前曾不止一次地幻想着,那里应该是明亮、安静、一尘不染,可以把所有的美好都装进去的。

当我走进Photobook Library的大门,拿起一本摄影集,翻开第一页的那一刻,我就知道一切正如我所想的那样。在这个不大的空间里,过去、未来和现在交织在一起。我仿佛能感受到时间的流动,缓缓地,温柔如水。阳光下,每一本书都散发着迷人的魅力。而在不远处,言由老师正安静地独自摆放着新书。

怀着忐忑的心情,我走上前和言由老师攀谈了几句。言由老师很和善,但话语中又有一种无法言说的力量。他说不久之后会在Photobook Library和一位优秀的国内摄影师合作开一个展览,他说很开心我们这些摄影爱好者能来到这里,他说他做得还远远不够,他说Photobook Library是一个属于所有影像爱好者的理想国。

是的,Photobook Library是一个属于所有影像爱好者的理想国,一切都安静、有序、自由、和谐。在这里,有精选自世界各地的摄影大师作品集,有国内优秀青年摄影师的作品展,有开放的摄影艺术沙龙,还有每一位远道而来心怀热爱的摄影人。在这里,你可以安静地欣赏最爱的摄影集,可以和志同道合的陌生朋友探讨共同感兴趣的话题,可以点一杯咖啡什么也不做地打磨掉整个悠闲的午后时光,也可以像我这样贪婪地把所有书都翻个遍。在这里,有关于摄影的一切。在这里,也有生活和理想。

也许有一天,当我再次来到宁波江北8号公园,Photobook Library已经不复存在;又也许,那时的她会是这世界上最棒的摄影图书馆。


Photobook Library

Address | 地址: Building 3, Jiangdong No. 8 Park, 8 Baoma Street, Jiangbei District | 江北区宝马街8号八号公园3楼
Hours | 营业时间: Mon-Fri, 10:30 AM-5:00 PM; Sat-Sun, 1:00-6:00 PM | 周一到周五(10:30-17:00); 周六到周日(13:00-18:00)