Finding English Books in Taiwan

Weighing in with my faves…

Silex became my favorite in Taiwan as soon as I checked it out. SF and fantasy as good as a store in the US.


The Dunhua Eslite – though I don’t make it there too often. But it’s not enough by itself. Bookman is a great store for more academic fare, and I’m a fan of the messiness of Lailai. Caves is OK, but its locations are inconvenient for me. When I’m in the Tai-Da neighborhood, I usually make a point of stopping in at SMC (the publisher that puts a yin-yang-like symbol on their books’ spines).

I’m not as impressed with the Singapore bookstores. But maybe I need to spend more time in them.

As for a favorite anywhere, a trip to New York City’s just not the same without a visit to the Strand.

Hey can anyone post the actual addresses of Lai Lai and Bookman?

Thanks all. I am loving this thread… now if only I can get my spouse to release the purse strings… I am going book shopping! :slight_smile:

Annotated list in English of Taiwan bookstores, complete with addresses and phone numbers (usually).

It might be a little out of date but is still useful. Aimed mainly at sinological material.

Someone please compile a list of all the good English-language bookstores in Taipei, with addresses, for those of us who might want to go shopping when we are up that way.

Caves Books (Bei Men Road, Section 1, #159, across from the train station)
Eslite Bookstore (Chang Rong Road, right before the big KTV near the intersection where Linsen changes into Jiankang)

For used books, there are two places with a fair selection of secondhand English-language paperbacks:

Jin Wan Dz Used Bookstore (Chung Yi Road, Section 2, #6)
On Beiman Road, half a block from the corner of Chingnian, is another bookstore with tons of books and magazines littered all over the place - good luck digging.

Both the Green House (take the last lane on Fuchien right before Nanmen, or the last lane on Nanmen right before Fuchien - it’s right in front of the temple) and the Ocean Area (off a lane on Shengli, off the big traffic circle around the old East Gate) have some shelves of donated English books for browsing and borrowing.

On edit: Oh, I forgot another one - there’s the arts & crafts bookstore on Changrong. It’s on a block about right between Dongmen & Dongshing, down from the 7-11 and then the pizza place, right next to an internet cafe. They have a big selection, if expensive.

I was looking for something today so went to four of the bookstores in Taipei and picked up their namecards with this thread in mind. In my order of preference:

Excellent bookstore with lots of great ‘academic’ books, top novels and some ESL stuff. I can only speak for the Taipei branch, but I’ll include the other addresses on their namecard.
Taipei, 2F, 88 Xinsheng S Rd Sec 3 (23687226)
Taizhong, 6F, 143 Wuquan Rd (23763799)
Gaoxiong, 28 Wufu 2nd Rd (2290300)

Good stuff. Lots of ESL materials (but lousy discounts).
103 Zhongshan N Rd Sec 2 (25371666)

Lai Lai
I think it’s one of the best for ESL stuff (kids anyway - good range). Lots of ‘lowbrow’ English books, trash novels, new age stuff etc
4F, 271 Roosevelt Rd Sec 3 (23624265)

Best sci-fi fantasy section. Some RPGs (mostly D&D, but also Call of Cthulhu, and the Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling series)
249 Jinhua St (23968403)


Despite people knocking Eslite on Dun Hua, I think it’s a great store. I know it’s been there for me when I had to get something to read at 3am. Between it and the FNAC at Asiaworld, they have contributed to at least 95% of my book collection here in Taiwan (well over 120 books the last time I counted, not including the 80+ books I have purchased for teaching materials and ideas). Did I mention my addiction to reading?

What happened to the Fnac by the train station? Is there only the Nanjing-Dunhua one now?

[quote=“Sir Donald Bradman”]
It was called Kinokuniya.

I found one in Bangkok. I thought it was only Japanese books, so I avoided until my last two hours there. To my eternal regret.


I agree, I love the big 24 hours Eslite. There’s some pretty good books there too.

Update on bookstore addresses. Lai Lai has another branch, also in Taida. Don’t know the exact address, but it’ Xinsheng S Rd, Lane *6, on the same lane as Lane 86 bar and Cafe Odeon.

Cranky, there’s also a FNAC in Xin Kong Mitsukposhi opposite Warner Village.

Any other good bookstores apart form the ones already mentioned? I want some books about Taiwan - history and stuff.


I think the FNAC moved. It used to be across the road from the Mitsikoshi. Last time i was in Taipei I looked for it, but it had been replaced by a tacky computer/3C store. It sucks because I was looking forward to hanging out there for a few hours looking at books before I caught my train.

Sounds like it moved to near Warner Village then?


FNAC was losing money so it sold a 60 percent stake in its Taiwan operations to the Hsin Kong group. The result is that the latter is opening mini-FNACs in most of its Mitsukoshi department stores. Luckily, the large FNAC on Nanjing and Dunhua is staying open.

I don’t see a FNAC on Mitsukoshi department store located by Taipei Main Station. Also the Mitsukoshi department store in XiYi Area doesn’t have FNAC either, they have Eslite instead.



If you’re ever in Taichung you can pop into the Mitsikoshi here; I was in FNAC last night. It was wonderful to find a shop in Taichung that actually sells a real variety of western music. The other stuff there isn’t bad either.


I went to Silex Books today on the recommendations here. Here’s my review and more complete directions.

Silex Books is a two floor bookstore near Da An Park in Taipei which carries a large selection of English language books at moderate prices. Their selection is mostly geared towards children from toddlers through young adult.

The one big draw for adult readers is their excellent selection of Science Fiction and Fantasy. This section takes up about 1/4 of their second floor. While not as complete as a large bookstore, their selection is about as good as an average US bookstore. If you are interested in these subjects, this is the place to go. Most other bookstores carry only a few or no English sci-fi and fantasy titles. Most paperbacks are NT250-300. While this is a bit of a markup from the cover prices, this is still a bit less than what others charge and much more affordable than paying international shipping.

Silex Books is located on Jin Hua Street (金華街) just west of Da An Park (大安森林公園). Jin Hua Street intersects Xin Sheng South Road (新生南路) halfway between Xin Yi Road (信義路) and He Ping East Road (和平東路). Bus lines going north and south along Xin Sheng South Road have a stop in both directions at Jin Hua Street Intersection (金華街口). Get off the bus here and walk westbound (away from the park) on Jin Hua Street. Silex is on the right between the first and second intersections at Jin Hua Street Number 294-3 Floor 1 (金華街294之3號1樓).

The Page One bookstore in Taipei 101 is now open.

Poagao relates that it is perhaps Taiwan’s largest bookstore. :smiley:

You can find the new FNAC stores at Mitsukoshi ZhongShan and XinYi, as well at Asiaworld (corner of Nanjing and DunHua). The one near the Main Station (Future World Center) closed down.

I love FNAC for all of the French things they carry. I practically lived at the one in Tours, France when I was an undergrad, spending weekly my lunch allowance on books and CDs because I never thought I’d be somewhere where there was a FNAC. I was delightfully corrected upon coming to Taipei.

It’s kind of scary how well the staff knows me at the Asiaworld branch… I don’t even want to think about how much money I have spent between FNAC and Eslite on DunHua S. Rd. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it was more than NT$100,000 over the last 2.5 years. Mostly on books, CDs, and decking out my laptop (which I bought from FNAC).

Page One seems to have quite a large selection of English-language books, far more than any other bookstore I’ve ever seen here. The store takes up one story of Taipei 101 and is 25,500 square feet of space according to their brochure. They were having a bit of trouble with the division of Sci-fi and fantasy (with a larger selection than Silex even), and the ordering was kind of messed up, but all in all it seems like a fine bookstore; perhaps a bit pricey, but very nice for browsing. There was also a stationery store and a teahouse-style area in one corner.

I am thinking I will bring a nice overstuffed pillow with arm rests when I go to the bookstores. Skimming through a book while sitting on those floors propped up against a bookshelf is rather uncomfortable and there are never any seats open.