A Book Lover's Guide To The Bookshops In Taipei
As Taiwan’s most famous city, Taipei is known for its cultural landmarks, delicious Taiwanese cuisine, and bustling night markets. Travelers may not know, however, that this metropolis is also home to some great bookshops. From popular bookstore chains to well-loved shops off the beaten path, Taipei has a variety of options to satisfy any reading need. Here’s our roundup of the bookshops in Taipei every bibliophile should visit.
Eslite bookstore | © Emma Kwee/Flickr
Eslite opened its first bookstore in 1989 and has since expanded to 48 branches throughout Taiwan. The well-known bookstore has more than a dozen locations in Taipei and carries a wide-range of English materials, as well as a section for stationary and gifts. Eslite’s location on Dunhua Road is especially famous for being open 24 hours, allowing book lovers to hang out at all hours reading their favorite books. Some locations also have a café where visitors can sip a hot drink while they read.
Eslite, No. 245, Section 1, Dunhua S Road, Taipei, Taiwan +886 2 2775 5977
Caves Books made our list for its unique specialization in providing language books, particularly English and Chinese learning materials. While this bookshop lacks the expansive selection of some of its competitors, it has been well-loved among English teachers, students, and expats since opening in 1952. Caves Books’ most popular branch is conveniently located on Zhongshan N. Road in the heart of Chongqing’s busy downtown district. Book lovers in search of some great language materials can check out one of Cave Book’s two locations.
Mollie Used Books | © Solomon203/WikiCommons
Anyone searching for a great selection of second hand books should head over to Mollie Used Books. This popular used book store chain has four locations throughout Taipei and carries used English and Chinese books as well as second hand CDs and DVDs. Soft music playing in the background lends a calm atmosphere to the shops, and visitors can sip coffee as they get lost in the well-stocked aisles. Visitors can also bring in used books to sell or exchange.
Books | © Abhi Sharma/Flickr
Artland Book Company
Located in Taipei’s Da’an District, Artland Book Company is known for its selection of art books. The store opened in 1985 and carries books on a wide-range of art subjects, including photography, fine art, crafts, and architecture. Books written in various languages, such as English and French, can also be found throughout the shop. A small gallery called ‘Artspace’ features works of art from local artists. Frequent visitors can also sign up for Artland Book Company’s membership list to keep up-to-date on when the store brings in new stock.
Artland Book Company, B1F., No.122, Sec. 3, Ren’ai Rd., Taipei, Taiwan +866 2 2784 5166
Another bookstore found in Da’an District is Zeelandia Bookshop. What sets this store apart is its commitment to anything travel-related. Among the map-decorated walls and souvenirs picked up from past travels, visitors can find a broad selection of travel books, as well as a cozy meeting space to chat with like-minded individuals, build travel wish lists, or plan an upcoming adventure. The friendly staff members are also helpful sources of information and are happy to provide tips for tourists. This bookshop is the perfect escape for backpackers or anyone with a passion for adventure.
Zeelandia Bookshop, No. 12-2, Lane 12, Qingtian St, Taipei, Taiwan +866 2 2322 4772
For visitors seeking something a bit more off the beaten track, VVG Something is a perfect fit. Nestled down a quiet alley in Da’an District, this tiny, unassuming bookshop is every book lover’s dream. In addition to a variety of books, the shop is also filled with various art pieces and an assortment of odd knickknacks, giving the space the feel of a curiosity shop or a forgotten attic. VVG Something isn’t known as just one of Taipei’s best bookshops — it was also recognized as one of the world’s 20 most beautiful bookstores in 2012.
VVG Something, Alley 40, Lane 181, Section 4, Zhongxiao E Road, Taipei, Taiwan +886 2 2773 1358
Moungar Traces of Books
Another option for seekers of used books is Moungar Traces of Books. This charming out-of-the-way shop is a haven for book lovers and provides a cozy place to browse leisurely among the shelves. Located in Wanhua District, Taipei’s oldest district and home to many historic buildings, Moungar Traces of Books carries a selection of English literature, as well as children’s books in both Chinese and English. Collections of artifacts, such as calligraphy pieces and artwork, decorate the small shop, lending a cozy feel to the space.
Moungar Traces of Books, No.4, Ln. 152, Guangzhou Street, Taipei, Taiwan +866 2 2336 2181