In Taiwan, reading is a cultural phenomenon
I don’t think I can ever cease to admire Taiwan as a country. I had loads of curiosity before I visited it & it hasn’t lessened a bit. I am still amazed, I am still surprised in many ways.
Today I will talk about the wonderful reading culture in Taiwan.
Despite being #1 country in electronics, despite the Taiwanese appetite for new technology and having one of the world’s largest hi-tech manufacturing centers, despite producing around 90% of the world’s laptops, the enthusiasm for the eBooks is very less here. Can you imagine the readers still prefer the printed books !
While in other countries bookstores have started closing down as they struggle to meet the challenges from digital rivals, in Taiwan the bookstores have become a cultural phenomenon.
In Taiwan reading is considered very cool. There is a huge culture around reading, and there’s still a huge gap between the number of printed and digital books sold. Isn’t it surprising? 🙂
People in Taipei do many things by night. While some people get ready to hit the club, or a night market, others are on their way to a more unusual nocturnal hangout … a bookstore. The bookstores can mostly be found in cafes and malls.
You can see young and old sitting side-by-side on small steps, on the floor or around reading tables, deeply engrossed in hushed silence in their literary worlds. People come here hang out, to read, or just to kill time and meet friends. They sit in the bookstore café sipping hot chocolate, coffee or a drink and plan to spend the night gossiping.
But why here and not just a bar or restaurant? Going out to drink alcohol is very expensive, while reading books at the store is free. 😀
For example, The Eslite store in central Taipei is open 24 hours and has more night owl visitors than most Western bookstores could dream of during their daytime hours! It has hit upon a concept … mix literature with design, fashion, home styling, small cafes and restaurants. The concept has made the store a huge success with bookworms.
In some stores, books and products are displayed next to each other at the same table. Another 24-hour store has five floors, each dedicated to different categories such as fashion, music, food but the top floor is all about books.
There are many sculptures across the country to convey the lovely message. Isn’t it a cool way to promote book reading? 😀
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