Some Taiwan culture you MUST know : what I learn from KLCC Chinese Bookfest
Something you should know about Taiwan even you don’t read Mandarin. In Malaysia, due to the political controlled mainstream media stereotyping, most English educated Malaysian and Malay only know about the forever fist-fighting parliament.
Guess what I found when I enter the Taiwan Booth, a free and complete catalog of Taiwan publishing in the book fest. The catalog sort books by categories. All books properly associate with the specific booth to ease the consumer to locate it. In short, it is a mini-library system. And you will not find such catalog in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia booth (hmmm, no Singapore publisher participating the book fest).
Yes, a computerized system might “work” as well as the small catalog. However, for a book fest with thousands of patrons daily, the computer devices will be overwhelm and deem not adequate for such occasions. Produce such catalog require good cooperation and mutual understanding among all publisher. It is almost unimaginable in many country.
Talking about Taiwan publishing world, one should not forget Taiwan Eslite bookstore . Do you know that, Eslite bookstore are the world first bookstore that goes 24 hours? Yes, it is not Border, Barnes & Nobel, Kinokuniya, but Taiwan Eslite.
p/s: I am talking amount typical brick and mortar business, so online book retailer such Amazon.com exclude from the picture.
Here is some brief description of Eslite bookstore (誠品書店).
Eslite bookstore established at year 1989, the first shop is located at Taipei city, Da-an District, Dun Hua South Street, which at the beginning, with focus and emphasis on art and humanity related books. And since then, more expansion shops were set up, the books followed on to include more selections. Eslite also expanded to retails, and opened up Eslite Mall.
2006 January 1st 00:00，Eslite new flagship bookstore located at Taipei Xin-Yi District open for business, with about 8000 square metre floorspace, it overtake previous Taipei PageOne Bookstore to become largest bookstore in Asia region.
Yes, it is not a jokes. The biggest bookstore in Asia region not in technology advanced Japan, metropolitan Hong Kong, or even the filthy rich middle east oil country, but in Taiwan. And it is not own by any US or Europe Multinational bookstore chain either.
If you think wikipedia provide little facts, let’s check some Times bookstore review
One of the few bookstores in the world open 24 hours a day, Eslite is a wonderfully hospitable space: readers lounge in the aisles, couples cuddle, and, lulled by the steady stream of classical music, some solitary souls fall asleep, staying until sunrise. You can browse more than 3,000 imported magazines, a huge array of art books, and a literature section with about 212,000 Chinese- and English-language titles. The high prices don’t deter customers—many use the store as a library, reading without ever buying.
Taiwan publish ~300 new books per month. Think of the books “aging” rates.
Now do you still see Taiwan as a mono-cultures politikus fighting parliament land?
在吉隆坡(KLCC – Kaula Lumpur Convention Center) 主办的华文书展， 最让人意外的是台湾展览馆的展出目录。 观全场，中马港， 没有一个展览馆能像台湾做出一本目录出来。 而目录之齐全和编排之细心， 简直就是一本小图书馆目录。 虽然中国馆的书比台湾的便宜，可是很多书目都是“吃老本”， 把中国老祖宗不用版权的文化资产重复了又重复。 单单是谈“易经” 的都有而三十中。
当然， 龙应台的 《龙应台香港笔记@沙湾径25号》 是香港出版的， 所以就归入了香港馆， 无法在台湾馆的目录里头找到。
对许多马来西亚人来说， 除了留台生和留意台湾资讯的人，许多英语人和马来人台湾印象还是留在马来西亚媒体刻意经营的 “立法院打架” 的形象。 而上面说到了台湾的目录， 就不能不提起台湾的【诚品书店】。 说起来， 如果告诉马来西亚人台湾 【诚品书店】是亚州最大的书店， 恐怕没有人在心理上能接受得了， 连”有钱“ 的日本， ”国际化“ 的香港， 铜臭的中东都无法得到这个荣耀， 诚品书店不靠政府的帮助， 凭什么能成为亚洲 （这世界最大，占了50% 世界人口的大洲） 最大的书店？