Whenever I get too bogged done by the details of life, I like to hop over to VVG ‘s for a shot of inspiration. VVG Thinking is wonderful for their food and kitchen items, VVG Bon Bon and Bistro are delightful for desserts or brunch. But, VVG Something is food for the brain. VVG Something （好樣本事）was opened in 2009, and is probably the quaintest bookstore you will find in Taipei. VVG Something’s Chinese name is probably one of the most ingenious play on words I’ve come across ~ the two characters “本事“ (ben shi) means ”skills,” but when you take the words apart, “本“ means books, and “事” means news, so the name could also be interpreted as “book news.” Clever, right?
Like its siblings VVG Chiffon, Bon Bon, Table and Bistro, VVG Something is tucked away in one of the quieter alleys in Taipei’s busy East District.
Once you are in the correct lane and alley, you can spot it easily by two landmarks, the pink VW van parked across the street, and VVG Somethings’ big red door.
At VVG Something, the books are arranged to encourage browsing. The atmosphere feels like you are browsing in someone’s home library. There is a long, sturdy table that dominates the space inside this shop. And it is stacked with books, books and books!
I always get ridiculously happy to see so many English books in one place. There is a extensive collection of cookbooks, books on design, fashion and home decor to be found here. There are also a few books in Japanese and Chinese. The majority are heavy “coffee table” books, with luscious covers, and even more tempting contents.
The best part is, the table is wide and sturdy enough, so you can lay out each book and consider each page that thoroughly as you desire.
Unlike conventional bookstores, VVG Something also groups together the relevant products~ this book on handheld pies is located alongside some pretty cute miniature pie and tart tins.
Kitchenware and cleaning supplies also look right at home in one of VVG Something’s nooks and crannies. There is also a selection of pens, pencils, glassware and knickknacks.
Among all the tempting books, this book “The Visual History of Cookery” caught my eye, but I didn’t buy it that day… and I regretted it the instant I got home. So I called VVG, and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the exact title, only the pictures on the front cover. (You can imagine how the conversation went, “um… I’m looking for a book…it has a rolling pin, a cow, a cake, and a hot dog on the front cover?”)
Fortunately, the store assistant was an absolute genius and said “OH! I know which one it is! I’ll put it on hold for you til you come back next time.” (I went to pick up the book a week later, and took a photo of it in its original home)
As I’ve said so many times before here, I always, always enjoy my visits to the VVG stores. Whether I go alone for a quiet day out, or share the experiences with friends, it’s always a trip that is a veritable feast.
Information: VVG Something| Zhongxiao East Road, Section 4, Lane 181, Alley 40, No. 13, Taipei City, East District.| Ph: 02-27731358| Opening Hours: 12:00pm-9:00pm | [ 好樣本事 ]|台北市忠孝東路四段181巷40弄13號| 電話： 02-27731358| 營業時間：12:00pm-9:00pm
PS-There is an even more extensive collection of books, kitchenware and stationery supplies over at VVG Thinking, in Huashan Creative Park. You can read about it in one of my first blog entries here.