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Taiwan’s largest bookstore faces possibility of move at end 2023

Eslite Spectrum demands response from co-landlord Uni-President about fate of 24-hour bookstore

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The Eslite Xinyi bookstore in Taipei. 

The Eslite Xinyi bookstore in Taipei.  (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s largest bookstore, the Eslite Xinyi in Taipei City, might have to move if no agreement with landlords can be found by the end of 2023, reports said Friday (May 27).

The store, close to numerous shopping malls in the capital’s upscale Xinyi District, has also housed Eslite’s 24-hour bookshop since the company shut down its previous site in 2020.

Eslite Spectrum Corporation Chairwoman Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) said that even though she had made a positive proposal, the main landlord of the Xinyi site, Uni-President Enterprises Corporation, had still not announced a decision, CNA reported.

However, the food conglomerate responded it was only one of seven co-owners of the site. There was still time until the end of next year, but none of the owners had yet reached a decision on whether to allow Eslite to stay.

Wu emphasized that Eslite wanted to keep operating the store, which is known as the largest shop in the world for books in traditional Chinese characters. Of the seven co-owners of the Eslite Xinyi building, Uni-President was the only one not to have expressed support for the bookstore’s continuation, even though the proposal had been made two years ago and there was now only 18 months left to reach a decision, she said.

According to Wu, she had contacted the food company at least 10 times to discuss the issue, but it had not provided a positive response. She hoped the goodwill gained over 18 years of managing the bookstore would persuade Uni-President to extend the lease beyond 2023.