Boven Magazine Library

July 7, 2016 2016年7月7日

Print isn’t dead in Taipei. It’s being kept alive at Boven, a magazine library tucked away in an unassuming Dongchu alleyway. The passionate people behind Boven are Spencer Chou, Ken Peng, and Shawn Hsu. These three are working tirelessly to preserve print. Spencer and Ken met each other while serving in the Taiwanese military, and bonded over their shared interests in printed publications, literature, and design. Together, they founded Boven. Later on, Ken’s high school friend Shawn joined the team and has been invaluable with his expertise in marketing, publishing, and exhibition production. This trio is pushing Boven forward towards becoming more than being a simple magazine library. They aspire for Boven to evolve into a platform where their magazines can be shared and easily accessible by everybody.

在台北,印刷尚未絕跡。 Boven雜誌圖書館藏身於台北東區一個不起眼的小巷子裡,在這裡,印刷仍保持著活力。雜誌背後的愛好者是周延川、彭緯豪與徐元祥,他們三個不辭辛勞,只為讓印刷出版物能一直存續下去。周延川與彭緯豪在台灣服兵役期間結識,發現彼此在印刷出版、文學與設計方面志趣相投。接下來,他們便一起建立了Boven雜誌。之後,彭緯豪的高中同學徐元祥也加入進來,因其在市場營銷、出版以及展覽製作方面的專業成為團隊不可或缺的一員。這個三人組共同推動Boven的發展,使它遠不僅僅是一個簡單的雜誌圖書館。他們希望Boven最終能成為一個平台,令每個人都能在這裡輕易地分享與閱讀雜誌。

The name Boven comes from the Dutch word that means “upstairs”. This name originated from their first location ten years ago in a four-story building in Shilin. This building brought several different businesses together, such as a café, bar, clothing store, and magazine shop. Seeing how successfully these different elements complemented one another led to Boven becoming the magazine library and café that it is today. The concept of “upstairs” is also meant to be a metaphor that represents their persistent step-by-step climb towards achieving their goals.

Boven這個名字源於意為“樓上”的荷蘭語詞彙。取這個名字是因為十年前,他們原本第一個地址是在士林區的一個四層小樓裡。這座小樓聚集了各種各樣的商家,如咖啡廳、酒吧、服裝店與頂樓的雜誌商店。正是因為看到了這些不同元素的商店如何成功地互為補充,Boven才成長為今日這個集雜誌圖書館與咖啡廳與一身的商店。 “樓上”的概念同時隱喻了他們一步一步向上,最終實現目標的內涵。

Boven was finally revived in January of 2015. This new space is a subterranean layer that provides safe haven from the rapid digitalization of the world outside. Currently boasting an impressive collection of over 16,000 magazines from all over the world that cover an entire spectrum of subjects, such as art, fashion, design, architecture, and lifestyle just to name a few. The intended coziness and homeliness of the store is further reinforced through their visitor guidelines, which requires everyone to remove their shoes and change into a pair of slippers. The space is separated into two areas by a black divider. One space is furnished with rows of long tables and lit by white fluorescent light, which fittingly to their title, resembles an actual library. On the other hand, the main area consists of comfortable couches, and the lay out makes it almost feel like a living room. The overall ambience is inviting and beckons visitors to stay a while, read a magazine or two, and relax for an afternoon.


Every month, at least three hundred new magazines are added to their collection. Spencer is in charge of curating the entire magazine collection, and he adoringly views each and every single one of these magazines as priceless treasures. Having read every magazine in the library, he’s even been dubbed as a “human search engine” who’s capable of locating any magazine in the library. Spencer sees print as an important instrument that has recorded the history and culture of countless cities and countries over the course of time, and this mindset is why he believes it’s more important than ever to preserve the disappearing medium.


Boven has plans of expanding the scope of their project. They’re attempting to make print publications even more accessible to people all over Taipei, and to do so, they’re working to construct over a hundred micro libraries within the city. Their plan involves selecting and leasing publications to various businesses looking to provide reading material for customers; this would in return reduce time, cost, and inventory build up for the business owners. Their ambitious vision is for Boven to be found in every part of Taiwan and allow the country itself to be known as the world’s biggest magazine library.


Fuxing Nan Lu. 107 Alley 5 #18 B1
Taipei, Da’an District

+886 2 2778 7526

Facebook: ~/boven437


Contributor & Photographer: David Yen
Additional Image Courtesy of Boven

台北市 大安區

+886 2 2778 7526



供稿人與攝影師: David Yen