The Ultimate Guide to Hong Kong Book Stores

Highlights of Hong Kong's best sources for English language books, including art books, used book shops, specialty book stores, and online retailers.

21 Nov 2015 — By Laura J. Perez / Shopping
Man reading a book
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Unleash Your Inner Literati

No one can deny that reading is important. Reading enriches our world, expands our vocabulary, stimulates the imagination and can increase the attention span in children who might otherwise be distracted by electronic games, TV and the Internet.

At a glance it might seem that the reading culture here is non-existent and that people would rather disengage into a game of Angry Birds rather than literature. But if you dig deeper you will discover that Hong Kong’s inclination for books and reading is far from dead; it’s actually emerging and this city has a lot to offer in terms of the quantity and selection when it comes to its bookstores, mainstream and speciality.  This is the ultimate guide to unleashing your inner literati.

For the love of…art! – Design, photography, film, architecture, fashion & advertising books

KUBRICK– Most likely named after Stanley Kubrick . When it comes to film and music Kubrick takes the crown; a visit to this shop will inspire you to get matinee tickets for the next art house movie. Although mainly Chinese, there is a good selection of English language books, graphic novels and magazines. Their support for the arts can be seen first hand as they sell art, design and handcrafted accessories from local and foreign artists. You can linger at their nice café which has an all day menu at affordable prices.

Address: Shop H2, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St., Yau Ma Tei, Kln, Hong Kong; 2384-8929

Opening Hours : bookstore: 11:30 – 22:00; café: 11:30 – 21:30; discs store: Mon-Fri 14:00-22:00; Sat, Sun & Public Holiday 12:00- 22:00; 2384-892

KELLY + WALSH  Formed in 1876 through the partnership of two local Shanghai booksellers and then established itself as a local retailer in Hong Kong in the 1950’s. This bookstore offers a well rounded selection of topics but mainly focuses on art, architecture, design and fashion. It also is keen on satisfying specialty interests by stocking a comprehensive and professional selection of cookbooks, books on automobiles, philosophy, travel as well as fun children’s section.

Various locations including L2, Pacific Place, Admiralty; 2522-5744

BASHEER – Today, Basheer Graphic Books is a leading supplier of books to Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. This small shop has a large comprehensive selection of design books, as well as books about art, architecture, graphic design, film, advertising, fashion and photography. You really want to stay and linger but be warned there is no seating. Also, be prepared to browse, browse, browse because there doesn’t seem to be a clear system on how books are organized.

1/F, Flat A, Island Building, 439-441 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay; 2126-7533

The book that keeps on giving – secondhand bookstores

FLOW– Excellent prices, great selection and good karma is what has kept this bookstore in business for over ten years. Aside from its specialty spiritual and New Age literature, Flow has a vast range of second hand books with  titles that cover bestsellers, classics, self help, cooking and much more. Finding a book might be a little overwhelming, but fret not because the staff and owner are not only super helpful but well read too.

204 Lyndhurst Building, 29 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central; 2964-9483

BOOKSMART – Readers can shop online or visit BooksMart’s Sheung Wan shop for a selection of  both new and used books.  Books are relatively inexpensive; the website even offers a category of $10 steals. Delivery is free with orders over $200.

Room 1604, 16/F, Western Centre, No. 48 Des Voeux Road, West Sheung Wan; 2620-5035;

READBOOKS HK – second hand English language book store.  The owner will also help you to source books and they provide proof reading services.

Something for everyone – All-purpose bookstores

BOOKAZINE – A very dependable selection of English language books, magazines, stationary and gifts. In their biggest store they stock over 900 magazine titles and over 20,000 book titles. All shops have a children’s section and in some the will host book readings, puppet shows, face paintings, competitions and other events for children of all ages.

Locations citywide including Shop 309-313, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Rd.,Central, 2522-1785,

ESLITE – Founded in 1989, ESLITE is a bookstore chain that hails from Taiwan. Originally their focus was on art and humanities but the company has since expanded their selection. The shop in Causeway Bay opened in 2012 and has 3 floors chock full of good reads. ESLITE also has a children’s book section, in both English and Chinese titles. It’s also the only bookstore that caters to night time book browsers and shoppers leaving its doors open on weekends till 2am!

8/F-10/F Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay; 3419 6788

Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 10:00am- 23:00pm; Friday, Saturday and eve of Public Holiday 10:00am- 2:00am

KIDNAPPED BOOKSTORE – Previously Dymocks in Sai Kung, Kidnapped takes its name from the timeless adventure classic by Robert Louis Stevenson. Store owner Urusla Huber, is passionate about sharing books as a way to captivate the imagination and take readers on an adventure and spirit of discovery. The store offers a wide range of children’s books including those by local Hong Kong authors.

7 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, New Territories; 2791 9110

Opening hours: 9am-7pm Monday to Sunday

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