After the museum I figured I’d head towards the night market I planned to have dinner at since they weren’t that close to one another. On my way I got a bit turned around in the underground of the station. I walked past an area filled with mirrors where people were dancing. I saw couples slow dancing together to soft music and groups doing routines. It was really cool and I had a ton of time to kill since the market didn’t open for another hour. I followed some signs towards something called Book street and found a long narrow bookstore. There were so many books. Though for the section I was in there was only a small couple of bookshelves of English. Still better than what I usually find in Korea. (I still found a book to buy.)
Eventually it opened up a little bit more and was full of souvenirs and stationary and house goods. But the thing that made me the most excited was that I found small metal type.
I don’t think outside of the printing class I took in college I’ve seen so much type, let alone for sale. When I turned around I realized there were table size printing presses which I found fascinating because the machines I used in school were too heavy to move.
I’ve never seen printing presses of any type for sale before. Usually they’re these massive behemoths that are only available in a couple of places and not easily accessible by the public. The fact that you could just box one up and take it home was so awesome to me. Though I didn’t see a price anywhere, so there is a chance this was just for display purposes. But even if that’s the case the fact they’re are smaller presses is just such a cool thing.
I assume the idea is that you can only make small things. But it’s still very cool. And then! I turned around and found even smaller printing presses with even tinier type.
Those are boxes that have been set up to be portable printing presses. Believe me I was very tempted to buy one but I didn’t have a clue if I could find English type, and they didn’t have any for sale, or really what I’d do with it beyond just making my own posters or tiny notebook pages.
I ended up spending a ton of time in this one shop, wandering around looking at books and board games and buying postcards. (And trying not to shout for joy when I saw the printing goods.) When I came out I realizes that there was so much more. So may more shops that were part of the same company that I just didn’t have time to explore.
Eslite is a chain of bookstores in Taiwan and they even have one that’s 24 hours. The one I visited is the R79 underground that connects the MRT Shuanglian station and Zhongshan station, just follow the signs towards the book street. If you’re wanting to check out some books or get some souvenirs I suggest visiting an Eslite.