Eslite Bookstore is often called the pride of Taiwan.
Most people don’t know, however, that Eslite Dunnan Bookstore, which has been open 24 hours a day for the past 30 years, will close on May 31. As the first 24-hour bookstore in the world, the Dunnan store was praised by CNN as one of the “coolest bookstores in the world.” It has since become one of the most famous cultural landmarks in Taiwan.
The China Post 特別企劃訪問到誠品書店通路事業群資深協理張曉玲、公共事務處資深協理曾喜松與襄理黃盟祺，帶各位讀者認識誠品書店如何成為享譽國際的「台灣文化指標」。
Ahead of the closing, The China Post interviewed Seer-Song Tseng, director of the Public Affairs Division and Lynn Chang, senior director of the Channel Business Group and invited them to share on how Elite Bookstore has become the pride of Taiwan.
In 1989, the first Eslite bookstore was located on the Ren’Ai Roundabout in Taipei. In 1995, the bookstore was relocated to the present address. After announcing its plans to move to the new location, Eslite Bookstore received feedback from readers, among which someone wrote: “Why can’t we have a bookstore that runs every day 24 hours.”
As of Dec. 31, 2019, the Eslite Dunnan bookstore had been open for over 186,000 hours without closing, setting a world record for bookstores. Over the past 30 years, Eslite has gradually developed into a comprehensive cultural space with a performance hall, movie theaters, and galleries. Meanwhile, it has pursued a hybrid business model — combining traditional bookstores and shopping malls — that has made local brands in Taiwan come under the spotlight. Still, the core focus is on promoting reading, that would never change.
As the closing day is drawing closer, readers are concerned about the future of the 24-hour Elite Bookstore. “Will this iconic bookstore become history?” This may be the common question that comes to every reader’s mind.
We have been seeking out to choose the new location of the store. Yet, if you ask me whether there will be another 24-hour bookstore, then the answer is “Yes,” Chang said. However, the factors that must be considered when relocating an operation include transportation, business district, customer needs facilities of a building, etc. Although the company has been discussing the relocation, however, everything is not settled down yet, she said.
“We will announce plans if there’s any new progress. Besides, there will be a series of events ahead of the closing date such as an old book clearance, in which 600 rare books will go on sale,” Chang said.
Although the new location has yet to be decided, many are hopeful that this won’t be the last day of the distinctive bookstore which has won the hearts of foreigners and Taiwanese alike. They are eagerly awaiting the day it should re-open.