For a beautiful, carefully-curated selection of books in an uber cool setting, head to Kubrick in Yau Ma Tei. This cute little bookstore has a range of art and design books, travel and cookery books, speciality magazines, novels and more. Kubrick highly values film, music and local culture, so you can a find a wealth of CDs and DVDs here too. It’s the perfect place to hang out on a Sunday afternoon as it has its own cafe. Around the corner you’ll find family-run boutiques, a fruit and veg wholesale market, and even an art-house cinema. For its creative, chilled-out atmosphere and friendly staff, Kubrick is a must-visit for book lovers.
Kubrick, Shop H2, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2384 8929, www.kubrick.com.hk
Established way back in 1985, Bookazine boasts nine locations across the city, each offering a unique shopping experience! The largest, in Prince’s Building, stocks hundreds of magazine titles and tens of thousands of books, in addition to a myriad of gifts (many of which are eco-friendly!). And whether you’re on the hunt for best sellers or last-minute birthday cards, its Lyndhurst Terrace location holds a treasure trove of trinkets.
Bookazine, Shop 326-328, 3/F, The Landmark, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2522 1785, www.bookazine.com.hk
Check out all Bookazine locations here!
No longer just a simple bookstore, the Taiwanese brand Eslite encompasses an art gallery, a theatre and performance forum, and a “Gourmet Group”, all sharing the mantra to “bring good things to life”. The Hong Kong Eslite outpost is no exception: spanning three floors and more than 40,000 square feet of Hysan Place in Causeway Bay, the mega-store is a wonderland of printed offerings with hundreds of thousands of titles, a good number of which are English language!
Eslite, 8/F-10/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 3419 6789, www.eslitecorp.com
Check out all Eslite locations here!
Kelly & Walsh shines in the category of art and culinary publishing with an impressive and in-depth selection in an intimate, boutique-style shop. From super chefs Gordon Ramsay and Ferran Adria, to seriously encyclopedic tomes as Hugh Jonson and Jancis Robinson’s World Atlas of Wine, K&W’s cookery section goes above and beyond. The store also often hosts author talks and signings, so be sure to look out for events on its Facebook page!
Kelly & Walsh, Shop 204, L2 Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, 2522 5744, www.kellyandwalsh.com
Conveniently situated on Chancery Lane in Central, Lok Man Rare Books offers a vast array of rare reads, from first editions to valuable folios. It’s home to a wealth of unique riches – modern and classical literature, children’s literature, history and more. The proprietor, Lorence Johnston, also offers visitors personal guidance and is readily accessible if you need help sourcing extremely rare books. Alongside being Hong Kong’s destination for the most precious finds, it doubles as the perfect venue for private cocktail parties and wine tasting events.
Lok Man Rare Books, G/F, 6 Chancery Lane, Central, Hong Kong, 2868 1056, www.lokmanbooks.com
Books & Co. is a quaint bookshop just a short walk from the Sai Ying Pun MTR station. There is no shortage of choice here, with countless shelves of used books flowing over onto tables, the floor and even creeping up against the cashier! It has a really fantastic selection of fiction, including mystery, fantasy and romance. Books & Co. also offers food and drinks, so you can choose a book, sit down with a cuppa and relax.
Books & Co., 10 Park Road, Midlevels, Hong Kong, 2559 5199, www.facebook.com/booksandco
flowBooks might be small, but it manages to cram in a formidable number of books. With stacks of used books reaching from floor to ceiling, Flow is literally overflowing with books. The books may not be perfectly organised, but the store has its own messy charm. If you love being surrounded by mounds of printed text, flow certainly fits the bill. What’s more, you’ll be able to find gems for as little as $40 here. From vintage classics to self-help books and textbooks, flow’s mission is simply to help these books find new readers.
flowBooks, Room F-G, 1/F, Kai Fung Mansion, 189-205 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 9278 5664, www.flowbooks.net
Nestled in a side alley off PoHo’s Tai Ping Shan Street, Mount Zero is a hidden gem. It houses a carefully-curated selection of Chinese and English books, plus a quirky assortment of trinkets, stationery and greeting cards. If you need a short break from the urban bustle, Mount Zero offers the company of books and a cosy space on the second floor to read and relax. It is a small but well-loved space, decorated with wooden panelling and vintage pieces, and makes a great refuge from the city. There are fewer English books here, but Mount Zero is still well worth the visit.
Mount Zero, Shop C, 6 Tai Ping Shan Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/mountzerobooks
Read more: Your Neighbourhood Guide To Poho
With its massive art books on display and animal-print couches, TASCHEN could almost be mistaken for an art museum. Tucked away in Tai Kwun, its store in Hong Kong is its first (and only) location in Asia. It exclusively sells the books it publishes, which mostly includes contemporary art. From photography to comics to fashion, TASCHEN might appeal especially to art buffs, but it caters to everyone. Whether you’re into art history or want to travel the world, TASCHEN probably has a book on it. It truly is one of a kind and a feast for the eyes.
TASCHEN Store Hong Kong, Shop 01-G02, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2544 8016, www.taschen.com
Founded in 1918, Swindon is one of the oldest, most established English-language bookstores in Hong Kong. It’s well known for being a reliable distributor of textbooks, from secondary school to university level, but it also stocks a variety of leisure reading, from magazines to hardcover art features, and from classics to contemporary literature. Swindon has an impressively thorough collection of books, so whatever you need, the store will likely stock it. And if it’s not sold in-store, the staff are happy to help you order it.
Swindon Book Co., Ltd., 13-15 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2366 8001, www.swindonbooks.com
Part of the Swindon Group, Hong Kong Book Centre Ltd. is located in a basement space on Des Voeux Road. This spacious store has a massive selection of English fiction and literature. Because it is under Swindon, chances are, you’ll be able to find or order any book you need here. If you’re on the Island and need a dependable book supplier, this is the place to go! The stores also houses a good assortment of cards, notebooks and stationery if you’re looking to stock up.
Hong Kong Book Centre Ltd., 25 Des Voeux Road Central, On Lok Yuen Building Lower Level, Central, Hong Kong, 2522 7064, www.swindonbooks.com
Bleak House is so much more than a bookstore. A local favourite among booklovers in Hong Kong, it’s become a community hub for literary events and readings. Although smaller than other bookstores around the city, it has amassed an immense collection of vintage paperbacks. Nostalgic for your childhood reads? Bleak House lines its walls with shelves upon shelves of vintage Penguin, Ladybird and Enid Blyton books. It also sells used contemporary literature. You can find vintage and used paperbacks here for astonishingly low prices. But if you like your pages crisp and untouched, don’t worry! Bleak House stocks new books as well. Beyond fiction, Bleak House also has a diverse range of books in the humanities and social sciences. Whatever you’re interested in, the folks here at Bleak House likely have something for you.
Bleak House Books, Unit 2705, 27/F, Well Tech Centre, 9 Pat Tat Street, San Po Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3705 0251, www.bleakhousebooks.com.hk
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 2, July 2014 and was most recently updated on 11, September 2019 by Jessica Wai.