Tue, Jun 20, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Unsustainable losses force closure of iconic feminist bookstore
不堪虧損 女書店七月熄燈

Customers browse books at the Fembooks bookstore in Taipei’s Daan District.

Photo: CNA

Fembooks, a feminist bookstore which has been in business for 30 years, announced on June 1 that its physical store will close next month due to long-term losses.

Despite the support of more than 600 Fembooks account members, the bookstore was unable to shoulder monthly losses of between NT$50,000 and NT$70,000. Fembooks store manager Yang Ying-ying says it was decided at a shareholder meeting on May 21 that it was necessary to halt the company’s losses and “restructure debt.” Yang says “a new manager will be elected at July’s shareholder meeting” and “there is hope of the possibility that the store can reopen for business.”

This is not a “full-stop,” says Yang, simply a “comma.”

Fembooks will continue to publish, and its online bookstore, Facebook page and blog will continue to operate as normal, although the bricks-and-mortar shop be now used as part of its publishing operation. However, as before, readers will still be able to pop in and choose a book.

Fembooks was established in 1994. At the time, National Taiwan University associate professor of sociology, Fan Yun, was still a student. Fan describes the bookshop’s presence on the scene as an oasis of enlightenment for the feminist movement and gender equality, and said the store’s temporary closure fills her with “regret and sadness.” Fan added, “Fembooks contributed greatly toward Taiwan becoming the first country in Asia to recognize marriage equality and progress toward gender equality.”

“Although we’ve hit rock bottom,” says Yang, “I’m confident that if a member of the younger generation comes forward with creative, fresh business ideas, Fembooks will be able to carry on in a new guise.”


1. feminism n.


(nu3 xing4 zhu3 yi4)

2. bookstore; bookshop n.


(shu1 dian4)

3. enlightenment n.


(qi3 meng2)

4. gender equality phr.


(xing4 bie2 ping2 deng3)

(Liberty Times, translated by Edward Jones)







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