While walking down Dihua Street, I made a brief stop at Bookstore 1920s (1920s 書店) located right in front of the Dadaocheng Theater 大稻埕戲苑. The bookstore is housed in what was once the first western pharmacy in Taiwan: Watsons. After the building was destroyed by fire in 1998, the original owners’ descendants decided to rebuilt it and to restore its original features.
The store itself doesn’t have much English book but I did find a book which at first glance didn’t look like a history book. The name however attracted my interest: “Walking into Taipei’s Past and Present”. It recalls Taipei’s history through 12 historical maps, as early as 1895, and over 200 historical photographs.
It also features 24 themed articles written by specialists. Each article takes us traveling back in Time, experiencing through different moments in the history of the city, telling rare but interesting stories, and showing maps and photographs for having a better understanding of every piece of historical memory. I personally found fascinating being able to see buildings that no longer exist today or to see what was the original surrounding of building that are today squeezed between to High-Rise.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone with a bit of interest into what Taipei used to look like.
For more information about the book, the maps and the iphone app go to: http://digitalarchives.tw/Publish/TaipeiHistoricalMapsGuide/