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    By Free Chen (Taiwan) 文:陈玟卉(台湾)          The Many Surprises of San Min Book Company 三民书局,惊喜连连       Buying books online leads to the discovery of the wonders of San Min Book Company. 一次网购图书的经历,让作者偶然发现了 三民书局,令她欣喜不已。 While shopping for books online, I stumbled upon the San Min Book Company webstore. I had never heard of it before. While browsing, I discovered a whole section of books in Simplified Chinese and decided to purchase some of them. A few days later, the store called to let me know that the books were ready for pick up. Little did I know that with that call, I would fall under the spell of San Min Book Company. A Whole Floor of Simplified Chinese Books San Min Book Company has two stores in Taipei – the Chungnan and Fubei stores. I chose to collect my books at the latter. Stepping out of the MRT station, I wondered which way to go. Even when I caught a glimpse of the large San Min Book Company sign, I worried that I had made a mistake. I was shocked as I walked up to the entrance. To me, bookstores tend to be small, and very few would occupy such a tall building. Because of the pandemic, the staff at the store took my temperature and sprayed alcohol as I stepped into the store. I was taken aback to see the escalator as apart from eslite, I had never seen an escalator inside a bookstore before. This was no ordinary escalator either. After collection, I carried the books with me as I browsed each floor. I discovered many good books, and even an entire floor of books in Simplified Chinese, which was an unexpected delight. Having never read books in Simplified Chinese before, I had hoped to purchase Simplified Chinese books not available in Traditional Chinese during this trip to San Min. I browsed this floor for almost an hour, and my hands were full when I returned to the first floor to check out. The First Bookstore With Escalators Upon returning home, I could not stop thinking about this rare experience at the bookstore. I looked up San Min Book Company online and learnt that the Chungnan bookstore was Taiwan’s first with escalators! Taipei’s Book Street once saw crowds comparable to those in the Eastern Taipei District of today, with  141 popularnews - 23        

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