TAIPEI (The China Post) — Most people don’t know that Eslite Dunnan Bookstore, which has been open 24/7 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.
So what exactly makes Eslite Bookstore different from other book shops? The China Post headed to the bookstore to ask six foreigners what Eslite means to them.
Holy Bob Prokop from Prague, the Czech Republic.
Q: What does the Eslite Bookstore mean to you?
Holy Bob: I come from the Czech Republic. This place is really comfortable, I really like it because I can find so many English books. The first time I came here was in 2018. I was looking for a guide book about Taiwan, so I bought the Lonely Planet. Actually, I am in love with this place, because you can read the books as well, it’s like a library. You can have a coffee too so it’s really comfortable.
Q: When do you usually come to the Eslite bookstore?
Holy Bob: I usually come late, after 11 p.m. when I come back to Taipei, just to hang out, sit and chill.
Q: What kind of books do you usually read and look for?
Holy Bob: I like history books from the twentieth century and horror books.
Q: How do you feel knowing the Eslite Dunnan Bookstore is about to close?
Holy Bob: Well, there are more branches in Taipei. This one is closer to my place and I’ll probably find somewhere else.
Bénédicte Yenyi Mulumba, an exchange student from the U.S.
Q: What was your first impression on the Eslite Dunnan Bookstore?
Bénédicte: it is big and it’s super neat. Everything is super organized and it’s so easy to find stuff.
Nacho Kleinman, Okada Noritaka, Randy Kurniawan, students from Spain, Japan and Indonesia, respectively, who spent three months in Taiwan to learn Chinese.
Q: What do you guys doing here in Taiwan?
Nacho Kleinman: We are studying Chinese at the NTU for three months. This is our first time at Dunnan Bookstore. Everything is really clear.
Q: What types of books do you usually like to read?
Randy Kurniawan| comic books.
Okada Noritaka: Same.
Nacho Kleinman: I like history books.
Q: What’s your favorite corner of this bookstore?
Randy Kurniawan: The comic books section.
Okada Noritaka: The grocery area.
Nacho Kleinman: The reading section is really cool. I had never seen it before.
Q: What makes it different from other bookstores?
Randy Kurniawan: There is a grocery, stationery.
Okada Noritake: It’s similar to Tsutaya. It’s quiet. There is a variety of books.
Nacho Kleinman: For me, it’s kind of surprising people are reading on the floor and everywhere. You can pick up every book and read it here. Nobody will bother you.
Caleb Teo from Malaysia
Q: Is this your first time at the Eslite bookstore? What’s your impression?
Caleb: It’s not my first time here. My impression of the bookstore is great.
Q: What kinds of books do you like?
Caleb: I like books about science fiction and arts.
Q: The bookstore is about to close. How do you feel about it?
Caleb: I kind of regret I didn’t spend so much time in this bookstore. I like the atmosphere here and the environment makes me feel relaxed.
Q: When do you usually come to this bookstore?
Caleb: On my day offs, usually on weekends. Sometimes at nights; if I have nothing to do, I would usually come by and read some books.