Standing in the shadow of the world's tallest building, Wu Ching-you marvels at his own record-setting colossus --the opening of Taiwan's largest bookstore.
緊鄰著世界第一高樓(101大樓)，吳清友對這棟創紀錄的大型書店感到驚艷不已 — 台北最大的書店正式開幕！
Occupying eight floors, the Eslite bookstore in Taipei's glistening Hsinyi district has a total floor area of 7,500 pings, or 24,800 square meters (the size of about four-and-a-half football fields ) which makes it the biggest bookstore by size in Taiwan, and probably in the whole of Asia.
位於台北信義區黃金地段、高八層樓、佔地七千五百坪(兩萬四千八百平方公尺)、面積約等同四又二分之一個足球場 — 誠品 — 台灣最大的書店，可能也是全亞洲最大的書店。
Wu Ching-you's achievement didn't go unnoticed, either; just 30 minutes after 2006 was ushered in, he was joined by Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, and Academic Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh in cutting the ribbon to officially open the store.
Wu is the owner of a chain of bookstores called Eslite, a household name these days in Taipei, but this new branch is surely the jewel in the crown. With more than a million books ranging the gamut of subjects, each level of the store is like a bookstore within a bookstore. Wu, however, prefers to call the new branch“a museum of reading and living.”
Set up at a cost of NT$1 billion (US$30.46 million), big is not the only feature of the Hsinyi store. Wu said he wants to add some cultural atmosphere to the area, which has become one of Taipei's bustling business centers. Wu said he hopes that through the bookstore, people will be able to have a better window on culture.
This is not the first time that Eslite has trailblazed. In 1999, a branch was opened for sleepless book-lovers it never closes and has become something of a local hangout. Wu said the store was planned in 1995 when the number of books published every year and the number of readers were not as many as today, and when Taipei was still somewhat parochial, with globalization something that was “happening somewhere else.”
As time went on, Wu came to believe that the city needed a bookstore to match its new status as an international metropolis, and he began drawing on all his skills and experience in running bookstores to set up the state-of-art Eslite mega-store.
The Hsinyi branch had its“soft opening”on December 16 and has attracted an average of 50,000 visitors on weekends and 25,000 on weekdays. In the first three days it was opened, sales hit an astounding NT$50 million (US$1.52 million).
Seeing busloads of tourists from Japan, Hong Kong and Macau descending on his Hsinyi store, Wu feels his dream of putting Eslite on Taipei's tourist map is one step closer and he said he owes this to the managing team of his group; it's their joint efforts that have helped him move on the path toward his lifelong dream.“A man can't live without dreams,”Wu said, quoting Emerson when he extols people to“hitch your wagon to a star.”