Bookstores in Hong Kong stock it all, from children’s books, board games, stationery and more. From familiar names like Bookazine, Eslite and Flow Bookshop to online bookstores, here’s where to shop for books in Hong Kong.
The excitement in our kids’ faces when we lead them to shelves of their favourite books is priceless and we love a handy bookstore that also stocks stationery for back-to-school season and also board games for playtime. Hong Kong’s collection of English language bookstores aren’t as few and far between as you may think. We’ve listed the best bookstores in Hong Kong and also online bookshops for when you’re looking for a wider selection of books.
Bookazine – Wide collection of English language books and also American snacks!
Established all the way back in 1985 and a family favourite, Bookazine offers a unique shopping experience. The largest, in Prince’s Building, stocks more than 900 magazine titles and over 20,000 books in addition to a myriad of gifts (of which many are eco-friendly!). And if you’re on the hunt for best-sellers and that last-minute birthday card, their Lyndhurst Terrace location holds a treasure trove of trinkets perfect for kiddos.
Book Wise – Children’s books, activity books, picture books and more
All your needs are taken care of at Book Wise when you want to keep the kids entertained minus the screen time. From activity books (think mazes, sticker books and colouring books) to educational books for young learners and books featuring favourite cartoon characters (did someone say Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and PJ Masks?), there are simply one too many fun options. Plus, the quarantine pack is a thoughtful gift to anyone isolating and if you’d like a monthly set of books at your doorstep, subscribe for the bundles.
Books & Co. – Second-hand bookstore in Hong Kong
With a cosy corner for coffee and snacks, Books & Co. is a go-to spot for many Mamas and their little ones due to its convenient location 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.
Cosmos Books – English and Chinese books, stationery and children’s section for books
Right as you ascent the stairway located on the main area of Johnston Road in Wan Chai, you’ll be greeted with the children’s selection (how convenient for us!). Cosmos is home to a large collection of English and Chinese books and this bookstore also houses entertaining and educational games for children – we’re personal fans of their collection of puzzles. You can also sort out your stationery shopping where you’re there.
eslite – A mega bookstore housing English books, food and drinks and other lifestyle products
No longer just a simple bookstore, the eslite brand encompasses an art gallery, a theatre and performance forum, a ‘Gourmet Group’ dealing in wine, food and professional kitchen equipment. And 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, over one-third of which are English language books (not to mention a great selection of children’s books)!
Flow Bookshop – A second-hand bookstore haven
A popular secondhand bookstore located in Sheung Wan, Flow may literally have books flowing down every shelf! Boasting both fiction and non-fiction books, prepare to spend quite a bit of time browsing through their collection. You can also drop off any unwanted books you have at home to keep the flow of knowledge going! Do note that the bookstore is a little crammed so do not enter with any strollers!
Joint Publishing (HK) – Bookstore with various locations throughout Hong Kong
Chances are you’ve stumbled upon Joint Publishing when walking around one of the many urban areas in Hong Kong (Central, Kwun Tong or Sai Wan!). You can pick up stationery whilst browsing through their collection of English and Chinese books (be it fiction or no-fiction). 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 – Impressive range of art and culinary books
Kelly & Walsh shines in the category of art and culinary publishing with an impressive and in-depth selection in an intimate, boutique-feeling shop. From super chefs Gordon Ramsay and Ferran Adria, to cult favourites like The Kinfolk Table, to seriously encyclopaedic tomes as Jancis Robinson’sWorld Atlas of Wine, K&W’s cookery section goes above and beyond! There is even a cute little nook at the back for you and your little ones to cuddle up with a great picture book. Perfect!
Kelly & Walsh, Shop 204, L2 Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, 2522 7893, www.kellyandwalsh.com
Kidnapped – Children’s books, school bags, board games and more
If you’re around Sai Kung, you need to make a pit-stop at Kidnapped, well the kids will drag you in either way spotting board games right at the storefront! Fully stocked with kids-friendly books be it fiction or educational, you can also pick up greeting cards, school bags and fun games while you’re there. And for the Mamas and Papas, there are handy books on parenting we find super helpful. We particularly love dropping by during Christmas when Santa himself reads books to children!
Kubrick – Books about art, travel, fiction and more
For a beautiful, carefully curated selection of books in an uber cool setting, head to Kubrick in Yau Ma Tei. This cute little book store has a range of art and design books, travel and cookery books, specialty magazines, novels and more. It’s the perfect place to hang out on weekend afternoons as it has its own cafe. Round the corner, you’ll find stationery and a record and DVD store, as well as a cinema (that usually shows more independent films). We love the creative, chilled-out atmosphere and friendly staff – Kubrick is a must-visit for book lovers.
Kubrick, Shop H2, Cinema Block, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square Street, Ya Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2384 8929, www.kubrick.com.hk
Lok Man Rare Books – Bookstore hosting a vast array of rare books
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.
Lok Man Rare Books, Ground Floor, 5 Chancery Lane, Central, Hong Kong, 2868 1056, www.lokmanbooks.com
Swindon Book Co. — Order your textbooks online
A handy website for ordering textbooks for school, Swindon Book Co. has been operating in Hong Kong since 1918! Associated companies are Hong Kong Book Centre and Kelly & Walsh Ltd., with Swindon being the only one offering online shopping. You can find books ranging from travel, fiction, arts, home and children’s books.
Amazon – Anything and everything!
Yes, we’re all aware that one can find just about anything on Amazon. You can simply enter the name of the book you’re looking for and voila, a list of sellers will drop! We suggest making a list ahead and buying in one go for free shipping, maybe add in some colouring books, colour pencils and any stationery your child is in need of?
Book Depository – Online bookstore housing a wide range of books with free worldwide shipping
An honorary and mandatory mention, Book Depository offers free shipping with no minimum spending! That too with prices often reduced compared to physical bookstores in Hong Kong. You can choose to go for hard cover or paperback of your favourite fiction books across genres like fantasy, adventure, mystery and more. Book Depository stocks it all! Just be prepared to wait patiently as shipping can at times take weeks.
Book Depository, www.bookdepository.com
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2014 by Siobhan Bent and most recently updated in August 2022 by Fashila Kanakka.