Calling all readers and booklovers! Here’s your ultimate guide to the best bookstores across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.
Maybe it’s just us, but IRL bookstores just have so much more to offer than their online counterparts. You get immediate satisfaction as you browse shelves of freshly stacked books, flip through crisp pages with your thumb and finger, take in that new book smell, and peruse stationery, pens, cute trinkets and slogan bookmarks. Despite the perpetual maze that is a Hong Kong shopping mall, English language bookstores aren’t as few and far between as you may think. For all of our fellow bookworms out there, keep scrolling for the best bookstores in Hong Kong.
The Best Bookstores In Hong Kong
This one might not be on your radar — tucked away on the ground floor of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, TheBookshop is more than just a book store. A hidden gem, it hunts down beautiful books and inspiring pieces from all over the world for you to immerse yourself in. TheBookshop brings museum visitors original and affordable artworks, prints by local and overseas artists, pottery and other objects, and, of course, books all under one roof; stocking a unique curation of English and Chinese books on everything from fine art to visual culture, urban and design living, and more. It’s a real visual delight! TheBookshop also organises a host of events including author meet-and-greets, live music performances and creative workshops.
Use discount code SASSY for an exclusive 10% off on this thoughtfully curated section, from now until Sunday, 18 September, 2022.
TheBookshop, G/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2886 2611, Facebook: Thebookshop_HKMoA, Instagram: @thebookshop_hkmoa, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.moa.thebookshophk.com
Read more: Must-See Hong Kong Art Exhibitions
As one of the oldest bookstores in Hong Kong (established way back in 1985!), Bookazine is a go-to when you’re on the hunt for a new read. There are nine locations across the city, each offering a unique browsing experience. The stores stock a wide range of titles, in addition to a myriad of gifts (many of which are eco-friendly!). If you’re on the hunt for best sellers or last-minute birthday cards, this is the place to go.
Books & Co.
Books & Co. is a quaint bookstore just a short walk from Sai Ying Pun’s 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 an especially fantastic selection of fiction, including mystery, fantasy and romance. Books & Co. also offers food and drinks, so once you’ve chosen your book, you can sit down with a cuppa and relax. And for any Mirror fans, you might remember this bookshop in a certain Anson Lo video.
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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.
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!
Read more: Your Neighbourhood Guide To Causeway Bay
Hong Kong Book Centre
Part of the Swindon Group, the Hong Kong Book Centre is located in a basement space on Des Voeux Road. This spacious bookstore 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 bookstore also houses a good assortment of greeting cards, notebooks and stationery if you’re looking to stock up.
Joint Publishing (HK)
With an impressive 12 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 locations, which both have a small cafe where you can sit and enjoy your book.
Kelly & Walsh
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!
Read more: 12 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2022
For a 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, speciality magazines, novels and more. Kubrick highly values film, music and local culture, so you can find a wealth of CDs, DVDs, vinyl records and movie posters here too. It’s the perfect place to hang out on a Sunday afternoon as the bookstore has its own cafe, and even an art-house cinema next door.
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Lily Bookshop x Flow Bookshop
Specialising in antique, first-edition, out-of-print books, Lily Bookshop is home to a rare collection of mostly English second-hand titles. 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. Lily is also the location of Flow — our favourite secondhand bookshop! — after a merge due to rising rent. You’ll be able to find pre-owned gems here for as little as $40.
Lok Man Rare Books
Conveniently situated on Chancery Lane in Central, 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. Alongside being home to the most precious finds, it doubles as a venue for private cocktail parties and wine tasting events.
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Nestled in a side alley off Poho’s Tai Ping Shan Street, Mount Zero is a hidden gem. This bookstore 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 a cosy space on the second floor to read and relax. It’s a small but well-loved space, decorated with wooden panelling and vintage pieces, and makes a great refuge from the city. 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
Read more: Your Neighbourhood Guide To Poho
Muse Art & Books
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. If you have an hour or two to kill, why not sit down with your book in the adjoining cafe or one of its many reading tables? You can also visit Hotel Stage’s art gallery, which features the works of different local and international artists.
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. TASCHEN exclusively sells books it publishes, which mostly include tomes on contemporary art. From photography to comics and fashion, TASCHEN might appeal especially to art buffs, but it caters to everyone.
VIBE Book and Music Shop
Your one-stop-shop for all things entertainment, VIBE sells an eclectic mix of new and pre-loved books, alongside a collection of CDs, DVDs, vinyl LPs, record turntables and more. The Mui Wo bookstore supports local artisans, authors and musicians by stocking their creations, and also occasionally runs events to showcase their work.
Editor’s Note: “The Best Bookstores In Hong Kong” was originally published in July 2014 and was most recently updated by Sakina Abidi in April 2022. With thanks to Jessica Wai for her contribution.