its name implies, Read & Book focuses on
the joy of reading. In fact, this strikingly-attractive
place is less of a cafe and more of an upscale
reading lounge and cultured oasis for book connoisseurs.
With a bit of intended irony, the owner situated
his establishment in the heart of a somewhat-seedy
neighborhood where it stands in stark contrast
to the surrounding "special businesses".
The modern decor is impeccable, complete with
dark wood bookshelves, rattan chairs with plush
cushions, modern sculptures, paintings, and venetian
blinds. Even the restrooms are architectural
masterpieces. The reading atmosphere is heightened
with soft classical and jazz music, and rules
against noisy mobile phones, kids under 12 years
and loud talking. There are 4,000 mostly-Chinese,
brand-new books on three floors, with categories
like History, Humanities, Art & Design, Travel,
Literature, and Taiwan Study. The collection
will eventually grow to 8,000 volumes. A minimum
charge of NT$150 allows a customer to stay all
day and enjoy these books, or bring their own.
There are Italian-style coffees, frappes, hot
chocolate and teas (NT$100-150) and NT$70 desserts.
Read & Book is located near the XueShi (Hsueh
Shih) Road intersection, not far from Chung Yo