- Chinese Name: 晃晃二手書店
- Located At: Taitung City (Southern Taiwan)
- Year of Establishment: 2011
- Did You Know That…?
- As the first second-hand bookstore in Taitung City, SuSu doesn’t only offer books; the bookstore is also a hostel for backpackers. The hostel offers alternative ways for guests to swap accommodation with their skills that are beneficial to the store. On top of that, guests can get a discount by providing second-hand books to the store.
- English Address:
- No. 8, Lane 503, Xinsheng Rd, Taitung City, Taitung County, 950, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
- Opening Hours:
- Fridays – Mondays, 2pm to 7pm
- Contact Number: +886-914-073-170
- Website: http://www.susuguesthouse.com/contents.asp?id=1
From an independent bookstore to a multifunctional “combo” store, SuSu has now become a must-visit destination for cultural travelers in Taitung, bringing book lovers, travel enthusiasts, and everyone who is curious about the store to this small but diverse place. Cat lovers will also be surprised by the owner’s feline companions that comfortably lounge indoors. As an animal lover, the owner donates 10% of her revenue to rescue street cats and to implement the TNR program (Trap, Neuter, and Release).
Before opening the store, the owner Lo Su-pin (羅素萍) and her husband were two professionals based in Taipei. One day, her husband said: “Taiwan is a small island; we don’t need to live in Taipei forever.” Thus they relocated to Taitung in 2007 to start a new adventure. Inspired by their own travel experiences, the couple started a B&B service for tourists in their house. Later in 2010, the couple bought a 3-storey flat and that is where the bookstore was launched.
The bookstore is the physical embodiment of Lo’s passion for travel, arts, and animals. Though it offers book swaps, the books have to fit with Lo’s preferences for travel books and literature. There are also sections for music and crafts where numerous cat-inspired art can be found.
In addition, Lo has transformed the top floor of the store into an art gallery after failing to find a proper one in Taitung. The space has held forums for artists such as Taiwanese writer Hong Zhen-yu (洪震宇) and Japanese photographer Kotori Kawashima (川島小鳥), fulfills the niche for local art lovers, and provides opportunities for artists to promote their works.
To Lo, the bookstore and hostel are her passion instead of a business. She makes friends with the guests by sharing stories, and those who have visited the store often send postcards and second-hand books after returning home. She never foresaw this coming when she decided to open the store, thus she encourages anyone who has a dream to pursue it without thinking too much about its outcome.
“SuSu” rose to prominence through its popular service of swapping books and skills for accommodation. However, what it does is more than just swapping physical items; it is now highly valued as a platform for art and cultural activities. It enriches the lives of the owner and guests, and empowers the community by bringing more people to visit and discover the beauty of Taitung.