Taipei Thing #6: Visit Eslite bookstore at 4 a.m.

25 May

Late on a Sunday at Eslite's 24-hour bookstore

Klaus suggested that I check out the Eslite (誠品) 24-hour bookstore at 4 a.m. to see what kinds of people are browsing the shelves so late at night. I wasn’t able to stay out nearly so late, but my adventurous friends Katy and Ping were willing to join me in heading there at the midnight hour. We had a lovely time discussing our different reading habits, and created our own mini-adventure by choosing books for each other to read. My assignments? Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw (chosen by Ping, who just so happens to have written one of the forewords for the Taiwan edition of this book) and Alain de Botton’s The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Katy’s thoughtful choice).

After I made my choices to share with my friends (Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and Mick Jackson’s Ten Sorry Tales), I spent a little time roaming the various sections and observing the late night crowd. Here are some of the faces you’ll come across past midnight:

Folks settled in with their free reading materials

Lots of squatting going on

More squatting.


One of my most-visited sections, with something new to browse this evening.

Many people came in pairs.

Ping checks out the bestseller section, normally crowded with people.

While I didn’t quite make the 4 a.m. goal (we left sometime before 1 a.m.), I certainly did enjoy the calm of Eslite late at night. I also discovered upon leaving that Ping had quizzed the staff on the people traffic at 4 a.m., and they reported that, while there used to be a problem with people trying to sleep in the store, these days the super-late crowd is mostly made up of people killing time before heading somewhere early in the morning. They never buy anything.

2 Responses to “Taipei Thing #6: Visit Eslite bookstore at 4 a.m.”

  1. Jonas May 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    so i guess you have a school night badge in foursquare now?

    • ktvxiaojie May 28, 2010 at 11:25 am #

      I actually haven’t been using Foursquare at all. I decided it would be more hassle than fun. (In fact, I may delete it altogether.)

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