TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's oldest bookstore the Regent reopened with new decor and a "counseling room" on Wednesday (July 29) in Taichung, looking to continue its 109-year legacy.
Founded in 1912, the Regent Store is the oldest operating bookstore in the country and is located near the Taichung train station. It is known to have a considerably large book collection including texts on religion, healthcare, and humanities, according to UDN.
The current bookstore owner Xu Qin Zhong (許欽鐘) pointed out that the renovation took almost two years to complete since he and his brothers decided to integrate modern elements into its new look. He added that a new elevator was also installed to provide older readers and young children more convenience.
Xu said the Regent Store was originally founded by his grandfather Xu Ke-Sui (許克綏), who only ran the bookstore as a side job when he first started during the Japanese colonial rule. However, since most of the school textbooks and official documents then were in Japanese, the store gradually became famous for housing publications printed in Chinese.
Xu emphasized that a new "counseling room" was also added on the second floor, allowing readers to rest and speak to counselors and fortune-tellers while enjoying beverages. He said readers can now register for 15-minute counseling sessions.
The owner said the Regent Store, like other brick-and-mortar book outlets in Taiwan, have been affected by the emergence of online bookstores. He expressed hope that his store will survive for another 100 years and he is open to adjusting his management style based on societal trends, reported CNA.
Interior of the Regent Store. (Taichung Tourism Bureau photo)