Eslite opens the longest book street in Taiwan

The 300-meter book street had its soft opening Saturday, replacing an underground metro mall.

The newly-built Eslite book street. (Source: CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Eslite, one of Taiwan’s biggest bookstore chains, has transformed part of the Zhongshan Metro Mall (中山地下街) into the longest book street in Taiwan with its soft opening taking place on Saturday.

“This is the first underground book street built by Eslite which is measured at 300 meters,” said Lin Hsuan-ying (林萱穎), senior manager at Eslite.

The Zhongshan Metro Mall is an underground shopping street stretching from Taipei Main Station via Zhongshan Station to Shuanglian Station. Eslite won a bid in March to replace the shops between Zhongshan and Shuanglian Station with a bookstore. 

“The space is designed quite well with all the themes categorized orderly,” said Ms. Chen, one of the interviewed passersby, adding that she is willing to visit the book street in the future not only when she happens to take the Mass Rapid Transit on this line, but also during holidays for a stroll.

Lin said that in general, literature, business and arts are put at the front of the street while stationery, magazines, and children’s books are at the back.

The book street consists of nearly 200 bookshelves and stores diverse collections of eastern and western poetry, as well as books on humanities and social sciences, the company said.

There are also sections for independent and university publishers as to cater to different readers, said the company.  

The grand opening is scheduled on August 7, and there will be a photography exhibition with a theme on local residents.

Reports Friday said the Eslite group also planned to take over management next May of a building nearby which now houses a Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store.