The Best Book Stores In Hong Kong
When it comes to the arts and literature, Hong Kong might not be the first you'd think of. But you'd be surprised to know that the city's book scene is thriving.
The Hong Kong Book Fair and Hong Kong Literary Festival happen in the city each year, as well as there being various books about the city to enjoy––so there's plenty to be happy about if you're a bibliophile, or looking to be. With plenty of different variations on offer including rare books, second-hand books and limited edition titles, we're listing the best places in the city if you're in the hunt for your next read.
One of the world’s leading art book publishers, Taschen opened its first store in Asia at Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts. As with all Taschen stores, the sleek space is packed with books on everything from art to food to travel to fashion to, as Taschen brands them, “sexy books”.
Many of these books are affordably priced, but Taschen is particularly famous for its limited-edition, sumo-sized books, which are so large that they’re sold with their own table and can cost in the hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong dollars.
Taschen Store Hong Kong, Shop 01-G02 Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2544 8016; taschen.com
2/13 Kelly & Walsh
Kelly & Walsh is home to a great selection of coffee table books, classic and contemporary literature and what has to be one of the city's most impressive culinary book collections. Passionate about encouraging and supporting a love of reading, Kelly & Walsh regularly hosts author visits and author events.
Kelly & Walsh Pacific Place, Shop 204, L2 Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2522 5744
Kelly & Walsh The Landmark, Shop B59-60, B1/F Landmark, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2801 6131, kellyandwalsh.com
See also: Eye Candy: The Latest Coffee Table Books To Have
3/13 Bleak House Books
Opened in 2017, Bleak House Books is a new kid on the block but the independent bookstore has nonetheless made a name for itself hand-curating a high quality selection of new and used books across a plethora of genres.
As well as a book store, Bleak House Books also prides itself in being a community space "where booklovers and thinkers can take refuge from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong to meet, share ideas, and do what they love most: read!"
Bleak House Books, Unit 2705, 27/F, Well Tech Centre, 9 Pat Tat Street, San Po Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3705 0251; bleakhousebooks.com.hk
See also: 7 Inspiring Biographies and Memoirs From Notable Women Around the World
4/13 Lok Man Rare Books
Tucked away on Chancery Lane and shrouded by trees, this sanctuary is home to a remarkable collection of rare, signed and first edition books that include works of modern and classic literature, children’s literature, food and wine, history and travel, economics and finance, and sport and hobbies.
Lok Man Rare Books’ website stays up to date about what’s in store, but we highly recommend visiting the store itself—accidentally coming across a first edition copy of classics such as Truman Capote’s Breakfast At Tiffany’s or Richard Adams’ Watership Down is an experience that any book lover deserves to experience.
Lok Man Rare Books, 6 Chancery Lane, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2868 1056; lokmanbooks.com
See also: Feeling Stressed? These Books Can Help You Find Inner Calm
5/13 Muse Art & Books
True to its name, Muse exists to provide inspiration with its meticulously curated selection of beautifully crafted books.
A hidden gem housed in the basement of Hotel Stage, Muse comprises a cafe, a small art gallery and of course, a book store housing titles that range in topics from plants to retro Hong Kong-style apothecary labels and plenty of art, as well as stunning illustrated books made from textured silkscreen.
Muse Art & Books, B/F, Hotel Stage, 1 Chi Wo Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong; +852 3953 2222
See also: 5 Travel Books For Your Wanderlust Needs
6/13 Flow Books
For 20 years, Flow Books has been the go-to store in Hong Kong for both brand new books and second-hand bargains. Amongst novels and textbooks, this cosy oasis in Sheung Wan is also a treasure trove of collectables such as first editions, out-of-print titles and even auction items.
Flow Books, 1F-G, Kai Fung Mansion, No.189–205 Queen's Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 9278 5664; flowbooks.net
See also: Neighbourhood Guide: Where To Eat, Drink And Shop In Sheung Wan
Housed in the same complex as Broadway Cinematheque, a cluster of four cinemas that boasts the city's most varied programming and home to many of the city's film festivals is a charming bookstore named Kubrick (named after director Stanley Kubrick, naturally).
As well as housing the city's best selection of film, art and other lifestyle books, a huge selection of DVDs and movie memorabilia, the community-driven venue also has a charming cafe and hosts regular talks and workshops with local writers and filmmakers.
Kubrick, 3 Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2384 8929; kubrick.com.hk
See also: 8 Record Stores To Visit In Hong Kong
Taking over three floors and more than 40,000 square feet of Hysan Place in Causeway Bay, Taiwanese chain ESLITE has tens of thousands of titles to choose from—over a third of which are in English. There's also a dedicated and extremely diverse magazine section, lots of corner sections selling quirky lifestyle products and even a built-in Moleskine concession should you feel inspired to unleash the writer in you.
ESLITE, 8/F-10/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 3419 6789; eslitecorp.com
See also: Neighbourhood Guide: Where To Eat, Drink And Shop In Causeway Bay
9/13 Swindon Book Co.
Having opened in 1918, Swindon Book Co. has survived the digital revolution and continues to stand strong as one of Hong Kong's most beloved fuss-free book stores—and by fuss-free, we mean you won't find quirky, out-of-place lifestyle products or cute stationery. Call it old school, but this gem is really all about the books.
Swindon Book Co., 13-15 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2366 8001; swindonbooks.com
Note: Swindon Book Co. is currently under renovation. Please visit their website for the latest update.
See also: Neighbourhood Guide: Where To Eat, Drink And Shop In Tsim Sha Tsui
This family-run business was established by couple Mohan and Nisha Mirchandani in 1985 with Mhan coming from a family of booksellers and have been passed to their daughters Shonee and Arti who now spearhead the company.
Bookazine is one of Hong Kong's leading chain of independent English-language bookshops with selections ranging from fiction, children's stories, food and wine, travel and so much more. The company now has nine branches across the city and hols occasional events such as book signings, talks and workshops.
Bookazine, various locations, bookazine.com.hk
See also: Where To Get Books Delivered To Your Home In Hong Kong
11/13 Books & Co
Calling all bibliophiles and coffeeholics. Books & Co is the perfect place to hang out and spend hours browsing through their selection of books. Grab one of their titles over a stack of overflowing books and enjoy a cup of coffee. Located in downtown Hong Kong, the bookstore slash cafe is definitely a great choice if you're looking for some quiet time.
Books & Co, 10 Park Road, Mid-Levels, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2559 5199, facebook.com/BooksAndCo
See also: Here Are The Cafés With The Best Coffee In Hong Kong
12/13 The Commercial Press
The Commercial Press is one of the leading book publishers in the city as well as a leading bookstore chain. Over the years, it has put great effort into promoting culture and education by introducing different types of books that range from art, pictorial books on history and culture, reference books and textbooks, which are their most notable publication. So if you're looking for academic titles, The Commercial Press is your go-to book store.
The Commerical Press, various locations, +852 2334 7217, cp1897.com.hk
See also: 10 Beautiful Libraries Around the World
13/13 Cosmos Books
Cosmos Books offers a variety of English and Chinese books on top of organising book fairs and press conferences for new book releases. Their selection of social science and translation titles are among the best in the city. Next time you're in Wan Chai, don't forget to put Cosmos Books on your radar.
F, Basement & 1, 30 Johnston Rd, Wan Chai, +852 2866 1677, cosmosbooks.com.hk
See also: Neighbourhood Guide: Where To Eat, Drink And Shop In Wan Chai
This article was originally published on July 17, 2019 and was updated on October 26, 2020.