Cost effective way to buy books (English Literature) in Taiwan?

used to live in the U.S. and enjoyed buying books from Amazon, but now that I’m living in Taiwan, the shipping cost itself makes this extremely unfeasible.

Now, I’m aware of bookstores in Taiwan such as 誠品 (eslite), 金石堂 (kingstone),, and while they do have a decent selection of books, however, the prices themselves are usually at a pretty high premium.

Where do you guys usually buy your books from? Does anyone know of any other alternative options or online bookstores that offer free shipment to Taiwan?

I recently came across and noticed that their prices are a lot lower (though not as low as Amazon of course). In addition, they seem to also have free shipping to Taiwan. But in general, is there also a local tax, VAT tax on books purchased from abroad? (i think bookdepository ships from the uk).

Would love some advice on this!

I almost entirely read Kindle books now. Book prices in Taiwan are high, shipping charges from Amazon are high, and the risk of death from all my quake-vulnerable bookshelves also became too high. Oh, and I started running out of wall space.

The big problem with English literature (if you mean classic canon stuff) will be finding good e-book editions. Amazon has an annoying habit of lumping together all 1,001 editions of Bleak House or whatever under one page and collection of reviews, with prices ranging from free to $25, and it’s tough to figure out which editions are good, and which are badly OCR’d garbage that may not even show paragraph breaks.

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I have the same problem, so I just got friends from home to send me their library card numbers and password, downloaded the Libby and Overdrive Apps on my phone, and how have a selection from a few US states on my phone, completely free! No wall space, no $!

You can try, lots of low priced stuff, shipping is about 6U$.

Have never been taxed on Book depository deliveries, just try to keep each below NT2000 and you should be good. I don’t like their packing method though, they use rough-ish recycled cardboard sleeves so a hard back or kids board book is likely to suffer small damage. I’ve gotten a couple of refunds on books that were intended as presents but couldn’t be given due to the cosmetic damage.

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Have you ever looked at Project Gutenberg ( for the classics? It’s a site run by volunteers and they proofread and digitise old books. I’ve read a number and they’ve been really good.

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I haven’t looked at them for a long while - don’t they do audiobooks as well? But one of the giant benefits for the Kindle ecosystem for me is the way the highlights and notes will sync across all my devices, so I can make a note on my iPad and then see the same note on my computer days or weeks or years later. That’s not going to work for Gutenburg books side-loaded onto devices, or put on my computer.

Of course, that won’t matter for many people, but since I’m supposedly an academic who should be writing papers or books about this stuff, the syncing of notes and highlights is quite important.

Plus for older stuff, the giant virtue of a good edition is useful annotations. I don’t think Gutenberg provides that, but I may be wrong.

They have both Kindle and epub versions of the books, so I reckon you can put them into the Kindle just like a regular book. I don’t have a Kindle so I don’t really know.

They can only use books that are out of copyright so there aren’t any new versions and I don’t recall seeing any annotations–it’s just the novel itself as it was written (or translated). Sometimes, they don’t have the best translations so that can be a problem.

They do have some audio books. I just saw one for Beowulf but I’m not sure how good they are.

For audiobooks, librivox is the most popular.

Ya i’m aware of all the online sources as I also use kindle. However, now that I’m more into reading, I kind of want to start getting physical copies instead so it’s easier to lend to friends and families since not everyone likes reading from a computer screen or have an e-reader. is a site for free audiobooks, can use VLC media player or audiobooked free player to listen to.

I currently am in a Litrpg phase, esp as I have little time to play games.

If you live in Taipei, Mollie’s near Taipower is good. Just went this past weekend and they had a fair amount of used books for decent prices.

Yup, you can put them on a Kindle no problem (well, minimal problems). But the issue is the syncing over of stuff that I add like notes and highlights: those notes are stuck on just that one device. The blessing and curse of modern software platforms.

Translations are one of the big annoyances I have with the Amazon platform - the way they set up “the classics” on Amazon can make it tough to see what you’re getting. A dozen different translations of The Odyssey may be mashed together in the same batch of reviews. Gutenberg is usually stuck with old copyright-expired translations or freelance ones, which can be fun for triangulation - four wildly different translations can help you split the difference on where the original is coming from - but aren’t necessarily well-written.

Yup, the lending of e-books is aggravating, and there’s a lot of appeal in just holding a lump of dead tree. But having more than I could ever read on something the size of a trade paperback is also wonderful.

You can also try Whose Books. This second hand bookstore has a branch in Shilin close to exit 2 of the MRT station. Address is No. 44, Lane 235, Zhongzheng Road, Shilin District, Taipei .
They also have a branch near Gonguan MRT, address 100, Taipei City, Zhongzheng District, Section 3, Roosevelt Rd, 308-1號, phone (02) 2363-2168.

How DARE you not use Kindle! :slight_smile:

Sometimes people sell lots of books on Yahoo! Taiwan. If you’re in a big city it also helps to check out used book stores nearby.

There are plenty of used books stores as well as public libraries. You can even request they buy certain books.

As @syrianrue mentioned, is probably the cheapest way to buy English-language books in Taiwan. You’re also welcome to order a selection of books about Taiwan (and beyond) directly from us – and for e-books it’ll definitely work out cheaper that way.

I know the OP was asking about paper books, but other posts discussed e-book classics. The best place to pick these up is probably Standard Ebooks – it’s a step up from Gutenberg as all of them are really cleanly formatted, while still being completely free. They currently have close to 300 titles, with more added at pretty regular intervals.