The buzz: Eslite—the Taiwanese chain bookstore famous for its much-beloved 24-hour branches—is a well-known mecca for traveling Hong Kong bookworms. But now diehard Eslite fans no longer have to fly to Taipei to get their literary fix, since the first overseas Eslite store is opening on our shores. The mammoth bookstore occupies a total of 41,000 square feet over three floors in the newly opened megamall Hysan Place in Causeway Bay. Partially following the tradition of the original store in Taiwan, it will stay open all night long from Thursdays to Saturdays. A self-proclaimed humanistic and cultural brand, the Taiwanese firm has the ambitious goal of encouraging a better reading culture in Hong Kong.
The goods: On its shelves, the bookstore is stocking 230,000 books—probably the largest selection in the city. Eslite’s expert book buyers have carefully picked out all the titles, in subjects that range from literature to art and design. A space named “Forum,” located in the bookstore, will play host to 4,500 exhibitions, performances, seminars and other activities every year. Hong Kong’s Eslite also has mini-shops that offer design-related goods, eco-friendly products and handicrafts.
The décor: The Hong Kong branch’s décor is consistent with the stores in Taiwan: it’s simplistic, stylish and offers ample space for browsing. At the same time, it’s a welcoming, cozy place for book lovers to plop down in a corner and stick their noses in a good book.
By Grace Tsoi