Literary fanatics and bookworms, give your bookshelves a makeover by filling them with a broad range of underground comics, novels and secondhand books from these Hong Kong bookstores
If you’re a dedicated reader and/or a big fan of these popular Chinese authors and Japanese authors, then you’ll understand how much joy a big fat heavy hardcover book gives us. Here, we’ve put together a list of the best Hong Kong bookstores – including chains and independent bookstores that stock a range of bestsellers, secondhand books, novels and nonfiction, so you know where to shop indies for serendipity. Looking to read more? Kick-start your book habit with our big fat list of books to read.
The world-renowned global art book publisher Taschen has moved into Tai Kwun. Taschen hopes to bring more quality publications by international artists and designers to Hong Kong readers, including (it’s a long list!) photo books, coffee table books, art books, architecture books, sexy books, gay books, history books, music books, and children’s books.
Taschen, Shop 01-G02, G/F, Headquarters Block, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2544 8018, 中環荷李活道10號大館地下
2. Bleak House Books
Established by an ex-lawyer and a historian, Bleak House Books is one of the newest independent bookstores in Hong Kong, selling mainly English secondhand books. Having a great collection of books, including vintage paperbacks, vintage Penguin classics and hardback fiction, Bleak House Books is a gem not to be missed. Originally situated in Kwun Tong, they’ve now relocated to San Po Kong. Definitely one of our favourite Hong Kong bookstores!
Bleak House Books, Unit 2705, Well Tech Centre, 9 Pat Tat Street, San Po Kong, Hong Kong, p. 3705 0251, 新蒲崗八達街9號威達工貿商業中心2705號鋪清明堂
3. Books & Co.
Books & Co. is a cosy book cafe situated in Mid-Levels that welcomes customers to browse their bookshelves for as long as they want. This place offers a quiet space with a nostalgic ambience for readers to sit down, sip a drink, and read.
Books & Co., 10 Park Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, p. 2559 5199, 半山柏道10號
4. Bei Bei Bookhouse
Established by a friendly couple in Yuen Long, not only is Bei Bei Bookhouse a hidden literary oasis, they also encourage the art of slow living. They have an interesting leave-a-book/take-a-meal policy, in which customers can feel free to give a book to the bookstore in exchange for a meal cooked by the owners, using their own fresh grown produce. They are only open on Friday and Saturday, so make sure to check your calendar before visiting them!
Bei Bei Bookhouse, 67 Tai Kong Po Tsuen, Kam Tin, Yuen Long, Hong Kong, p. 5225 4119, 香港新界錦田大江埔村67號比比書屋
5. Hong Kong Reader Bookstore
Selling an array of both Chinese and English books on Humanities and Social Science – including Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Cultural Studies – Hong Kong Reader Bookstore is a beloved academic bookstore in Mong Kok. They aim to create a culturally inspiring space for readers to explore their own thoughts and perspectives.
Hong Kong Reader Bookstore, 7/F, 68 Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, p. 2395 0031, 旺角西洋菜南街68號7樓序言書室
6. Kelly & Walsh
Starting out as a publisher and retailer in Shanghai in the 1870s, Kelly & Walsh has now branched out to Yokohama, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Aiming to facilitate the cultural and intellectual pursuits of readers, Kelly & Walsh in Pacific Place has got great books in store for their customers. We are huge fans of their stunning giant coffee table books that cover everything from design to fashion, to the weird and wonderful.
Kelly & Walsh, Shop 204, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong, p. 2522 5744, 金鐘金鐘道88號太古廣場204號鋪
7. Art and Cultural Outreach
Situated in Foo Tak Building, independent bookstore Art and Cultural Outreach is well known for their great selection of alternative readings, ranging from photography books and poetry to children’s books. They are also dedicated to promoting different cultural events and art exhibition in Hong Kong.
Art and Cultural Outreach, 14/F, Foo Tak Building, 365-367 Foo Tak Building, Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, p. 2893 4808, 灣仔軒尼詩道365-367號富德樓14樓艺鵠
8. Flow Books x Lily Bookshop
One of our favourite independent Hong Kong bookstores to grab second-hand books, Flow Books x Lily Bookshop is a wonderful community-building bookstore situated in the heart of Sheung Wan. The quaint independent bookstore has a great collection of secondhand books – ranging from European History and Chinese Poetry to Gender Studies – proving it to be a gem in our vibrant literary community, and a calm oasis amidst the concrete jungle.
Flow Books x Lily Bookshop, Room F & G, 1/F, Kai Fung Mansion, 189-205 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2964 9483, 上環皇后大道中189-205號啟豐大廈1樓F及G室莉莉書屋
With multiple branches spread across Hong Kong, Bookazine is an English bookstore chain that supports and champions local authors and writers. Other than the New York Times’ Best Sellers, they also sell greeting cards, a selection of cookbooks, adorable knick-knacks and kids’ favourite sweets, making it a fun and diverse place for families and friends to hang.
Bookazine has multiple locations across Hong Kong.
Kubrick, one of our favourite Hong kong bookstores, is just right around the corner from Broadway Cinematheque. We’re fascinated by their vast collection of nonfiction, graphic novels, soundtracks, CDs, and vinyls, and they also have a lovely selection of niche magazines from across the globe. From underground graphic novels published by Fantagraphics to selected poems of the legendary poet Bei Dao, Kubrick never ceases to surprise you with their outstanding choices of books. This place is a fun house for all the indie kids that are into literature, music and films!
Kubrick, Shop H2, 3 Public Square St, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong, p. 2384 8929, 油麻地眾坊街3號駿發花園H2地舖
11. Clark’s Comics
Opening its first shop in 1993, Clark’s Comics has grown into the largest comic retailer in Hong Kong, selling not only comics but also interesting action figures and collectible toys. From Marvel and DC Comics to Image Comics, such as the recent hit I Hate Fairyland by Skotti Young, their wide variety of American comics has gained them a huge fan following. It’s one of the best Hong Kong bookstores to shop comics.
Clark’s Comics, Shop B7, B/F, Causeway Bay Centre, 15-23 Sugar Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, p. 2890 7718, 銅鑼灣糖街15-23號銅鑼灣中心地庫B7號鋪
Parenthèses is a cosy French bookstore located on the second floor of Duke Wellington House in Central. They have an amazing array of French books, including textbooks, magazines, travel guides, graphic novels (we’re big fans of Guy Delisle) – and even French films on DVD! French beginners, it’s time to grab your copy of Le Petit Prince or L’etranger at Parenthèse and practice.
Parenthèses, 2/F, Duke Wellington House, 14-24 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2526 9215, 中環威靈頓街14-24號威靈頓公爵大廈2樓
Vibe is a haven for book and music lovers. Hidden in Mui Wo, the shop stands in the former site of Imprint, a bookstore known as the ‘nameless’ bookstore due to the absence of a proper signboard. The previous owner, Terry Boyce, has passed his legacy on to Gary Brightman in 2018. Renamed Vibe – and now having an actual logo outside – the store now offers both well-loved and new books in English, Chinese, French and other languages. It also welcomes local creators to sell their own literary and musical compositions, making this venue a neighbourhood favourite when it comes to finding a quiet place to read and listen to music.
Vibe, Silver Centre, Shop E, Silvermine Bay, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, p. 9088 2370, 大嶼山梅窩銀礦中心大廈E號舖
As the best known retail bookstore chain in Taiwan, Eslite has taken bookworms in Hong Kong by storm when it first arrived five years ago. Covering three floors of Hysan Place, the space is filled with quality books by writers and illustrators across genres. There are also stationery, DVDs, as well as various snack and tea stalls. It’s easy to spend half a day just strolling around the shops and idle away all your time without noticing.
Eslite has branches across Hong Kong.
15. The Bookshop
Part of the new look Hong Kong Museum of Art, The Bookshop is a small home to many amazing books from across the globe. Focusing on a selection of beautifully designed publications for young and old, it’s the perfect spot for browsing and picking up a colourful present. Be sure to enjoy a meal or a drink at Hue after your visit.
The Bookshop, G/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 2886 2611, 尖沙嘴梳士巴利道10號香港藝術館地下本書店
16. Muse Art & Books
Nestled inside Hotel Stage, which is located just three minutes away from the Jordan MTR Station, Muse Art & Books is part of an organic space named The Muse. This area includes a book shop and art gallery, a wine bar, and the Spotlight performing arts venue. Seamlessly transitioning between the three, Muse Books & Art is the perfect starting point to your journey at The Muse. You can explore a plethora of artisan books there, covering topics ranging from design and photography, to lifestyle and poetry. Found a book of interest? Simply make the purchase and head up to Club Stage, where a tranquil library lounge awaits.
Muse Art & Books, Hotel Stage, 1 Chi Wo Street, Jordan, Hong Kong, p. 3953 222, 佐敦志和街1號登臺藝·書·臺
17. Lok Man Rare Books
If you’re in search of rare books and signed editions, look no further than Lok Man Rare Books. This classy bookstore has an array of antiquarian books, including first editions and folios by celebrated authors from around the world. Genres such as modern and classic literature, children’s fiction, food and wine, history and travel, even finance and sports can be found at this bookstore – a true treasure trove for bookworms in Hong Kong.
Lok Man Rare Books, 6 Chancery Lane, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2868 1056, 中環贊善里6號樂文
18. My Book One
Hit by the pandemic, many traditional bookstores had to close their physical stores across Hong Kong in early 2020. These included several brands much loved by the local public over the years, including The Commercial Press (商務印書局), Joint Publishing (also known as JP Books) (三聯書店), and Chung Hwa Book Co. Ltd. (中華書局). Thankfully, My Book One was established in the nick of time to prevent these legendary shops from shutting down completely. My Book One has brought these bookstores together to create a united platform for online and offline sales, so that the legacy of these century-old bookstores can live on. As of mid-2021, there are almost 50 physical bookstores operating under My Book One – see if you can find one in your neighbourhood!
Mosses (temporarily closed)
One of the newest Hong Kong bookstores! Situated on St. Francis Street in Wan Chai, Mosses is a lovely curated bookstore that offers a great selection of niche publications by independent authors and publishers from across the globe. You’ll also be able to grab some interesting zines at one of our favourite art galleries in Hong Kong next door called Odd One Out.
Mosses, 14 St. Francis Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, p. 2351 2098, 灣仔聖佛蘭士街14號