Taiwan is a stationery heaven. Everywhere I go I can find stationery shops. Some of them are better, some are worse and a few are special. I would like to share some of them with you. To begin this new series I will start not with a typical stationery shop but with a bookstore.
To better understand Tsutaya it’s good to learn one thing about Japan. Japanese people love physical media. Japan is full of video rental shops, manga rental shops and CDs are still the most popular when it comes to music. That’s whyTsutaya is a very popular chain, operating about 1500 rental shops in Japan.
Taiwan is a bit similar, it’s easy to find a DVD rental shops here and Tsutaya has a few shops here, as well. That being said, there is only one Tsutaya cafe-bookstore in Taipei
What makes Tsutaya bookstore special (apart from the fact that it’s included among Flavorwire’s list of 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world) is the interesting mix of a coffee shop and a bookstore. You can buy a coffee and then enjoy reading or shopping. Drinks are allowed and you can bring three unpaid books to the coffee shop and read them there or buy a drink and go to the bookstore to look for your favorite books.
Tsutaya offers a wide choice of Western and Japanese books, both in English and Japanese. For example, it was the only bookstore in Taipei where I found Banana Yoshimoto’s works in English.
So, why I am even mentioning a bookstore here? Because Tsutaya offers some special stationery. They have some products which can’t be found elsewhere, plus some high-end stationery usually found in Japan only.
There are many notebooks and paper here, most of them Japanese and fountain pen friendly. I will try to grab some of them for reviews next time.
The store was crowdy so I wasn’t able to take many photos. In reality, the stationary part is much bigger from what you can see here.
If you are in Taipei it’s worth to pay a visit toTsutaya Bookstore, even though nearby Eslite is better.