Taipei Shopping Guide: Where To Buy Books and Stationery

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Visiting Taipei for the first time?    I dreamt of visiting Taiwan years ago, not for the delicious food nor the famous Taipei 101 but because I have been inspired by stationery and journaling personalities from Taiwan on Instagram.   I  was convinced that this is the book and stationery heaven I’ve been looking for!  Guess what?  It is!!!!

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Here’s my book haul.  I bought these foreign books for the illustrations.  Eslite trip = success!!

Here are my Taipei must buys: chinese/japanese illustration books, stickers, washi tape, Traveller’s Notebooks, Hobonichi items, La Dolce Vita stickers, Bear stamps.   You can also buy the following Kaweco fountain pens that are exclusive to Taiwan and Hongkong: Rose Gold, Rose Quartz, Serenity Blue and Lagoon Blue.

I”ve compiled a list of places you can check out if you are a stationery and book nerd like me.  Click on the addresses to open a link to its location on Google Maps so you can plan your trip accordingly.    Easy right?  You’re welcome!!! 🙂

Xinyi District

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Spot the Eslite Bookstore – Xinyi in my washi map

I’m sure that you’ll be visiting the famous Taipei 101.  You’ll find these places a short walk away.

  1. Eslite Bookstore, Xinyi Branch

If you have limited time to visit other book and stationery shops, then I suggest that you at least drop by at this Eslite branch.  Among the shops I have visited, this store has everything.  There is a stationery section where you can buy journals, Rifle Paper cards, etc.   There are English titles at this bookstore, but I was personally hunting for Chinese/Taiwanese/Japanese books on illustration and scrapbooking for art inspiration. You’ll find a lot of those here.     Btw, it’s pronounced “Elite” not “Es-Lite”.   Hehehe!

Website:   www.eslite.com

Address:  No. 11 Songgao Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei

2.  Hands Tailung

Hands Tailung is the Taiwanese branch of Tokyu Hands from Japan.  In here, you’ll find your usual bargain beauty and homeware items.  They also carry affordable stationery items as well.  Traveller’s company TNs are stocked in this place too.  However, Hands Tailung’s inventory is not as impressive as their Japanese counterparts.

Address:  No. 12 Songshou Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei

 

Da’an District Continue reading

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Sunday Paper Travel Journal

 

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Japan has always been one of my family’s dream destinations. This year, we made a spur-of-the-moment decision and made our travel dream come true. I had to plan for our entire trip in three weeks!

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I used my Sunday Paper Travel Journal to jot down my plans for my trip. It has been my personal tradition to make a detailed illustrated itinerary for each new place I visit. I used the dotted and graph sections for illustrating the landmarks I planned to see. I was very happy that the paper is suitable for watercolour illustrations.

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I loved that the journal came with a canvas pouch so you can also bring your basic journaling kit in case you have time to do journaling on the go. I kept my travel ephemera (receipts, tickets, stubs, calling cards, maps, menus, etc.) in it as well.

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I put in 2 of my most favourite pictures from Kyoto and Osaka as souvenir photos to commemorate my trip.

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Travel Journaling Tips

  1. In some countries like Japan, there are stamping stations at famous tourist landmarks and train stations for decorating your travel journal.
  2. Collect ephemera in the form of travel tickets, menus, stubs, receipts, calling cards, maps and brochures. You can attach these to your journal to make it even more authentic.
  3. I like working on my travel journal before and after a trip. It’s more important for me to enjoy the place while I am there. I write down small notes about the highlights of each day in a notebook so I can journal about them when I am back home.

You can order your own Sunday Paper Travel journal here.

Inside My Hobonichi 2016

 

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From a recent trip to Japan

I rarely splurge when it comes to planners, journals, and notebooks because buying an expensive one always puts me under pressure to keep its contents nice and pretty.  For some reason, I made an exception for the Hobonichi 2016 A5 Cousin Book (Spring Edition- April Start) which cost me around Php 2000++ through a trusted seller, Crafty Lane Ph. Original Hobonichi covers are expensive so I got my beautiful cover from Planners and Journals.

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Hobonichi Cousin A5 – Spring Edition

I love it! The Hobonichi planner uses  Tomoe River paper.  It’s so thin, almost like onion skin paper to the touch, and yet it’s strong enough to hold watercolour and most inks back to back.

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I DIYed passport stamp impressions.

That’s really awesome because I never write on the back pages of my journals to avoid bleed throughs and show throughs.  I also love how the Hobonichi lays flat, making it easy to write or paint on.  The graph lines help keep my handwriting straight and neat.

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I love drawing and traveling!

I purposely picked the A5 Hobonichi Cousin Book because of its size.  It also comes in A6 size, in English or Japanese, if you want it smaller.    I’ve been using my Hobonichi for making mini travel itineraries for places I want and hope to visit.  Right now, I have done 6 doodled itineraries, can’t wait to make it to #365!!!

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The first itinerary I made

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Made with Sakura Koi Watercolor and Unipin Drawing Pen

The ordering period for next year’s Hobonichi 2017 has already started this September.   You can learn more about their 2017 lineup in here.

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My latest work.

I had a really tough time deciding what planner size to get and for what purpose.  In the end, I decided on an A5 Cousin which I will use for  hand lettered quotes relevant to my creative life and a  Japanese A6 for my journaling.  What are your Hobonichi plans for next year?

 

How to Make a Travel Doodle Itinerary

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As my family’s recreation and trip planner, I take my job seriously.   Before each trip, I like to research about the place we’ve chosen so that we can make the most of our visit.  This is also because we have the mantra “Visit once and never return”.  Travelling can be expensive and we have a limited amount of money so it makes more sense if we plan our trips effectively so that we can visit a different place each time.

PLACES FOR RESEARCH

TRAVEL FAIRS – I always attend the ones held at the SMX in MOA during February and September.  I like bringing home a bagful(!!!!) of free brochures and maps which I use for my research and for scrapbooking.  Then, I sort these according to location so that my materials are organized.

FACEBOOK ALBUMS – Find a facebook friend who shares the same interests and budget as you.  I have some friends who are my travel pegs.  I like sharing my travel photos too, but not to brag, but to inspire and aid others in their research.

INTERNET – Everything is out there, you just have to google it.  I read the following travel blogs: pattylaurel.com, ourawesomeplanet.com, lakadpilipinas.com and many more.

THE PROCESS:

1. I read and read and read. Blogs, books, travel guides, maps, etc. about the our destination. At the same time, I already jot down notes about which places to visit, what to eat, where to stay, etc.

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travel guides and brochures

2.  I save the online images that I like so that I can reproduce them in my doodle.  When drawing,  I don’t pressure myself to produce an exact likeness of the images.  It’s still a doodle after all.      I always use a black PILOT FRIXION PEN because I need to be able to erase parts of my doodle that I don’t like.  I am not sure about the archival quality of the ink though.

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3. I fill up the whole page with all sorts of details about the place just so that I will not have to research again in case I plan to return there in the future.  Afterwards, I embellish my itinerary with washi tape to add some pops of color.

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4.  I share these online just in case someone  needs a little help planning their trip.

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Kuala Lumpur Doodle Itinerary

I know of some people who like doing on-the-spot sketches of places they’ve travelled to.  I prefer doing my sketches beforehand so that I can enjoy the place more.  If you have your own travel doodles, please share them with me. Thanks!

P.S. There is only one place that would make me break my rule of “Visit once and never return.”  That is New York. 🙂