At a time when bookstore chains across the US are closing one by one, Eslite Bookstore, the largest in Taiwan, is booming.
Established in 1989, Eslite (Cheng-pin in Chinese) operated in the red for 15 years before showing a profit in 2005. Now the chain has established itself as a new landmark of bookstore culture in Taiwan. Today, there are 39 Eslite branches across the island, with plans to expand to Hong Kong and to the mainland Chinese cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou.
Eslite is not just a bookstore, it represents Taiwan’s lifestyle and serves as an intellectual pillar for the Chinese people. Eslite’s success is plain for all to see. In 2010, Eslite’s stores welcomed over 100 million customers through their doors.
The following photos were taken at central Taiwan’s Taichung branch of Eslite by Sue Su. After a breakup, Su, a young amateur photographer, picked up her camera and went traveling, taking pictures of everyday life as she went. Read more about the richness of Taiwanese cuisine, and her personal photographic story of her hometown, Tainan (southern Taiwan) on her Chinese-language blog http://blog.yam.com/suesu77/article/17381860.