Reading the latest magazines in public libraries, Eslite or even bookstores is so passé. And we don’t mean because of digital subscriptions on the Kindle or iPad.
Tucked away in a quiet alley in bustling Taipei City, Boven Magazine Library is the one and only magazine-only library in the world.
Forget about the fluorescent lighting, metal shelves and stackable chairs in public libraries. Boven offers a stylishly designed setting in which guests can unwind amongst the homey décor with soothing lightings and comfortable couches, whilst taking in the impressive stacked bookshelves.
Shelves are packed with a wide range of whimsical mags around the world to suit all tastes, from fashion to felines, culture to chic living.
Passionately defending the value of the printed periodical, the three founders of Boven are building up an enormous curated collection of both the latest magazines and back numbers that is second to none in Taiwan, if not the world.
More than 15,000 foreign and local magazines are available, while hundreds of periodicals are coming in every month.
Still not convinced Boven is a good idea? City543 rounded up a few of things that make Boven unique – you’ll be thinking twice about getting a print copy of your favorite glossy from your local newsstand next week.
Although there are more than 30 seats and couches in Boven, the founders decided to set a guest cap at 20 with the belief that all visitors in the venue deserve the freedom to choose their own couch. So you can expect an ultimate geek-chic hideaway without having to share a tiny little couch with a sweating stranger.
Don’t know what to read? No worries. Spencer Chou (周筵川), one of the founder of Boven boasts of himself as a “human Google” in this magazine library. Yep, there are more than ten thousand collections in the house and two hundred periodicals coming in every month. As a magazine veteran, Spencer can suggest you a reading list after you provide just a few key words.
This “library” is more like your own home or bedroom; Boven features retro chairs and couches of different sizes from JusHouse (which are available for purchase if you find they suit your home more). Light music, from jazz to chanson, is always in the air. Above all, visitors are asked to take off their shoes and slip on the slippers provided. You don’t wear your Louboutin in your own home, do you?
Advocating the idea of “knowledge sharing”, Boven doesn’t sell its magazines but circulates them amongst members to read on the spot or to loan out so as to make sure you never miss any valuable back issue and enjoy the full archive.
Like any library, eating and drinking (except water) is not allowed in Boven. The founders hope their visitors can indulge in some serious reading rather than in food or on the internet. Come here for one reason: reading. Not a café for coffee or refreshments, Boven is rather like a restaurant for the mind and spirit.