Whenever I have the chance, I always try to go to a local bookstore in places that I visit. There’s something about bookstores that excite me. While I find libraries as an oasis of tranquility, I find bookstores as an avenue to find something new and exciting.
In high school, I would often walk 2 kilometers from our home and go to the nearest local bookstore to see new releases. And even though I didn’t have the money to buy a book, I still visit regularly to do something else. I would list all the interesting titles in my notebook so I will not forget it and hoping that one day I can buy it. It’s a habit that I still do up to this day.
Back then, I joined a lot of book clubs online. In one of those book clubs, I got to know girls from different parts of the world who also loves exploring bookstores. One of them lives in Taiwan and she told us that her favorite bookstore is the Eslite Bookstore. It’s a 24-hour bookstore that has a spiral architecture filled with books.
Earlier this year, I finally had the chance to visit that Eslite Bookstore.
Or so I thought.
The wrong bookstore in Taipei
My friends and I decided to visit the Eslite Bookstore on the last day of our Taiwan trip. Since we had a few hours to spare before our flight back to Cebu, I thought it would be nice to just chill and find good books in a bookstore.
I was obviously looking forward to this day. I’ve always wanted to see this 24-hour bookstore myself since I was 15. But I was wrong.
I knew something didn’t look right as soon as I entered the bookstore. It looked entirely the opposite of what I have seen in the photos online. But I thought, “Oh, maybe they just updated the building’s design.”
But after a couple of minutes of walking around, I just had to ask someone. That’s how I got my answer. I was aware that there are several branches of Eslite Bookstore all over Taiwan. I thought that the one I am looking for is in Taipei. The one I am looking for is actually located in Taichung City! Damnit.
It wasn’t all for nothing.
I guess I’ll have to visit Taiwan again in the future. Had I known, I would’ve included Taichung City in my itinerary. But I was glad I visited this branch in Taipei too because I learned that it’s going to close very soon. Their lease will end in 2020 after 19 years of trading. Wow.
I found a lot of interesting books. I was concerned that all the books are in Chinese but there are actually a lot of English titles to choose from.
If you ever visit this bookstore in Taipei, make sure to get a tax refund if you purchase over NT$3,000. Moreover, Eslite Bookstore has a 5% off for foreign shoppers if your purchase is over NT$1,000.