Whether you’re after a specific title or simply want to spend the afternoon browsing through shelves of books, we’ve got a handy guide to the best English bookstores in Hong Kong.
We were devastated to hear that online bookstore Book Depository would be closing this month — but while we’ll miss the convenience of free shipping to our door, it’s not so bad to get reacquainted with our local bookstores. You’ll get immediate satisfaction as you pick out books straight from the shelf, thumb through crisp pages, take in that new book smell, and peruse stationery, bookish trinkets and slogan bookmarks. For all of our fellow book lovers out there, keep scrolling for the best English-language bookstores in Hong Kong.
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The Best English Bookstores In Hong Kong
Mount Zero – A curated selection of Chinese and English books
Nestled in a side alley off Poho’s Tai Ping Shan Street, Mount Zero is a much-loved gem. This bookstore houses a cherry-picked selection of Chinese and English books, plus a quirky assortment of trinkets, stationery and greeting cards. If you need a short respite from the urban bustle, this bookstore offers a cosy space on the second floor to read and relax. There may be fewer English books here, but Mount Zero is still well worth a visit.
Mount Zero, Shop C, 6 Tai Ping Shan Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, www.instagram.com/mountzerobooks
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TASCHEN – Coffee table books on art and design
With its oversized art books on display and animal-print couches, TASCHEN could almost be mistaken for an art gallery. The Tai Kwun bookstore is its first (and only) location in Asia. It exclusively sells books it publishes, which largely include tomes on contemporary art. From photography to comics and fashion, TASCHEN might appeal especially to art buffs, but it caters to everyone.
Kubrick – Art and design books, speciality magazines, novels and more
For a curated selection of books in an uber-cool setting, head to Kubrick. This quaint little bookstore has a range of art and design books, speciality magazines, novels and more. Kubrick highly values film, music and local culture, so you can find a wealth of DVDs, vinyl records and movie posters here too. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon with its own cafe, and even an art-house cinema next door!
Books & Co. – A cosy bookstore filled with pre-loved books
Mirror fans might recognise this bookstore from a certain Anson Lo video. Just a short walk from Sai Ying Pun MTR station, Books & Co. is packed to the ceiling with pre-loved books. Come for the fantastic selection of fiction, including mystery, fantasy and romance. The shop also offers food and drinks, so you can cosy up with your book with a warm cuppa.
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Bookazine – The go-to bookstore for new and best-selling titles
As one of the oldest bookstores in Hong Kong (established way back in 1985!), Bookazine is a great go-to for new titles. There are seven locations across the city, each offering a unique browsing experience. If you’re on the hunt for the latest best-sellers or last-minute gifts, this is the place to go.
Hong Kong Book Centre – A vast collection of English fiction and classic literature
Part of the Swindon Group, the Hong Kong Book Centre is located in a basement space on Des Voeux Road and has a massive selection of English fiction and literature. Chances are you’ll be able to find or order any book you need here. The spacious bookstore also houses a decent assortment of greeting cards, notebooks and stationery if you’re looking to stock up.
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eslite – Well-stocked Taiwanese bookstore chain
With its Hong Kong flagship store in Causeway Bay spanning three floors and more than 40,000 square feet, Taiwanese lifestyle bookstore chain eslite is a wonderland of printed offerings, with hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, a good number of which are in English!
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Joint Publishing (HK) – Local bookstore chain with a wide selection of Chinese and English books
With an impressive 14 locations across the city, we’re sure you’re no stranger to this local bookstore chain. On top of stocking all types of books, some branches also host book fairs and other cultural events. It’s also a great place to pick up stationery! If you’re looking to enjoy your book with a cup of tea, head to either the Wan Chai or Yuen Long location, which both have a small cafe where you can sit and enjoy your book.
Lily Bookshop x Flow Bookshop – An independent bookstore specialising in antique, first-edition and out-of-print books
Lily Bookshop is home to a rare collection of mostly English second-hand titles, specialising in antique, first-edition, and out-of-print books. Stocked with everything from autobiographies to cookbooks and classic novels, there are plenty of titles you’ll want to take home from this independent bookstore . After merging due to rising rent, Lily is also the location of Flow, a cosy second-hand bookshop where you can find pre-owned gems for as little as $40.
Kelly & Walsh – Independent bookstore stocking specialist and best-selling titles
As bookstores in Hong Kong go, you can’t get better than Kelly & Walsh for all things art and culinary. This pick boasts an impressive and in-depth selection of titles, all housed in an intimate, boutique-style shop. The bookstore also hosts author talks and signings, so be sure to look out for events on its Facebook page!
Lok Man Rare Books – A rare collection of first editions and valuable folios
Lok Man Rare Books offers a vast array of rare reads, from valuable folios to first editions of modern and classical literature, children’s literature and more. The proprietor of this bookstore, Lorence Johnston, also offers visitors personal guidance and is readily accessible if you need help sourcing extremely rare books. The bookstore also doubles as a sophisticated venue for private cocktail parties and wine-tasting events.
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Cosmos Books – Popular English titles, magazines & stationery
This Wan Chai bookstore stocks a variety of English and Chinese books, and boasts a particularly good social science section. It’s also known to host book fairs and book launch conferences throughout the year, so stay tuned for upcoming events on its Facebook page.
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VIBE Book and Music Shop – Eclectic second-hand bookstore on Lantau
A one-stop-shop for all things entertainment in Mui Wo, VIBE sells an eclectic mix of new and pre-loved books, alongside a collection of CDs, DVDs, vinyl LPs and more. The second-hand bookstore supports local artisans, authors and musicians by stocking their creations, and also runs events to showcase their work.
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Muse Art & Books – Artisanal books and rare titles
Hidden in the basement of Hotel Stage is Muse Art & Books, a treasure trove of artisanal books and rare titles. The bookstore features a broad range of books, including a small section dedicated to Yau Ma Tei. Sit down with your book on one of its many reading tables or at the adjoining cafe. It’s also worth visiting the hotel’s art gallery, which features the works of different local and international artists.
Editor’s Note: “The Best Bookstores In Hong Kong: HK Island, Kowloon, New Territories & More” was most recently updated by Nicole Moraleda in April 2023. With thanks to Jessica Wai and Sakina Abidi for their contribution.
Main image courtesy of VIBE Book and Music Shop via Instagram, image 1 courtesy of Mount Zero via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of Kubrick via Instagram, image 3 courtesy of Bookazine via instagram, image 4 courtesy of eslite via Instagram, image 5 courtesy of Flow Bookshop via Instagram, image 6 courtesy of Lok Man Rare Books via Instagram, image 7 courtesy of VIBE Book and Music Shop via Instagram.