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Our 5 Favorite Bookstores in Bangkok_1

Our 5 Favorite Bookstores in Bangkok

How We Picked the Best Bookstores in Bangkok

Book Selection

We selected bookstores with a wide selection of books to satisfy the varied interests of their customers. We also considered those that have curated collections and specializations.

Staff

Booksellers should be able to help and guide customers by giving book recommendations and answering questions. We picked bookstores with passionate staff who display ample knowledge in the selection of books in the store.

Establishment

We examined the facilities of each bookstore to see if they provide a suitable ambiance where customers can comfortably browse and choose books and stationery items. Moreover, we checked if the store is in an accessible location.

Customer Satisfaction

We based this on our experiences, customer surveys, and other relevant information from third-party sources such as Google and Facebook reviews.

1. Kinokuniya

Kinokuniya Homepage

Services: English Books, Chinese Books, Japanese Books, Thai Books, Comics/ Manga, Lifestyle, Stationery, Study Guides, Toys

Website: https://thailand.kinokuniya.com/

Address:  6th floor, CentralWorld, Ratchadamri Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Contact Details: +66 2 056 4700

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Google Reviews Score4.6/5
Foursquare Score4.7/5
TripAdvisor Score4/5
Total Reviews4.43/5
Score Consistency4/5
Book Selection4/5
Staff4/5
Establishment5/5
Customer Satisfaction4.6/5

Pros

  • Has a wide range of book selections in English and Thai
  • Provides a relaxing space for browsing books
  • Has a Japanese-specialty coffee shop by UCC
  • Well-stocked stationery section
  • Has three locations in Bangkok: EmQuartier, Siam Paragon, and Central World

Cons

  • Limited Japanese books and magazines
  • Some staff can improve their attitude and approachability

Kinokuniya is a well-known Japanese bookstore chain established in 1927. Notably, its stores first opened in Bangkok 30 years ago to help address the growing need for varied book selections in the country.  

Kinokuniya has three locations in Bangkok: Siam Paragon, EmQuartier, and Central World. The last of these is the biggest branch, boasting over 2,000 square meters and featuring two zones: one for comics and graphic novels and another for books, stationery, and art tools. 

Going around the newly-refurbished second zone, we appreciated the warmly-designed space inspired by calming greenery. We also like that this area was designed to host events such as book launches and fan meets.

Additionally, the Kinokuniya at Central World has a café called K Coffee by UCC. It serves slow bar-style beverages, such as siphon and drip coffees, and specialty coffee made from exotic beans from Japan.

What we like most about Kinokuniya is its extensive selection of magazines and books, which range from Thai and English books to French novels, Taiwanese magazines, and Japanese manga. We were also excited to find high-quality stationery from Japan.

On the other hand, we expected many Japanese titles since Kinokuniya originated from Tokyo. We were disappointed at the small selection of Japanese novels, and we found from our surveys that several Japanese customers echoed our concern.

We also think several staff members can improve their attitude when helping our customers. Since photography is prohibited in the stores, some rather unfriendly guards track customers around the store to enforce the policy.

2. Books & Belongings

Books & Belongings Homepage

Services: Art Theory, Art & Design, Literature, Philosophy, Photography, Poetry, Thai Books, Theory Redux, Untimely Meditations Series, Blackwing, Junohs Collection, Zine, B&B Club, B&B Workshop

Website: https://booksandbelongings.com/

Address: 502 Soi Sukhumvit 95, Bang Chak, Phra Khanong, Bangkok 10260, Thailand

Contact Details: +66 2 629 0694

Operating Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:00 am to 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm: 

Google Reviews Score4.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score5/5
Total Reviews4.75/5
Score Consistency4/5
Book Selection5/5
Staff5/5
Establishment4.5/5
Customer Satisfaction4.75/5

Pros

  • Great selection of photobooks and art books
  • Cozy and friendly atmosphere
  • Offers drip coffee
  • Helpful staff

Cons

  • No parking space

Going down from the BTS Bang Chak Station and walking through the crowded Bang Chak Market up to Sukhumvit 95, we found a cozy bookstore called Books & Belongings. With its warmly-lit interiors and glass facade, it stands out in an alley of shophouses with closed iron doors.

Stepping into Books & Belongings felt like being transported into a different realm, which is a contrast to the mundane streets. 

With its walls lined with wooden shelves and filled with hundreds of books displayed to show their covers, this store feels like home to avid bookworms and collectors.

Our favorite thing about Books & Belongings is its wide selection of photobooks and art books from the US, Europe, and Asia. It also features fantastic titles of books about literature and philosophy, something we didn’t expect from a cozy neighborhood book shop.

Furthermore, this store also features a small cafe that serves drip coffee and a selection of teas. We appreciate the ample tables and chairs in the middle of the store where customers can wind down, work, or chat amidst the plethora of beautiful books on display.

We found that the curated selection of books in this store is great for discovering new authors and photographers from around the world. Moreover, we like that there are several limited edition books and rare titles on the shelves.

It’s also interesting that creative affairs such as workshops and book readings are held on the second floor of Books & Belongings. Additionally, this space is also available for rent for private events.

On the downside, parking spaces are scarce, given the location in a small alley. Nonetheless, it’s only a three-minute walk from BTS Bang Chak station, which is very much worth the experience of exploring this store with tastefully-curated books.

3. Dāsa Book Cafe

Dāsa Book Cafe Homepage

Services: Second-hand Books, Music CDs, Books Purchasing

Website: http://www.dasabookcafe.com/

Address: 714/4 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Contact Details: +66 2 661 2993

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Google Reviews Score4.5/5
Tripadvisor Score4.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.8/5
Total Reviews4.6/5
Score Consistency5/5
Book Selection5/5
Staff5/5
Establishment4/5
Customer Satisfaction4.6/5

Pros

  • Best for second-hand books
  • Large selection of titles
  • Has an online database of available titles

Cons

  • Only accepts cash payments
  • Hot and uncomfortable on the second and third floors

Dāsa Book Cafe is a charming second-hand bookstore at Phrom Prong. Considered the best go-to place for used books, this place has over 18,000 selections, most of which are in English, while others are in various European languages such as Norwegian and French.

For a second-hand bookstore, we appreciate that Dāsa Book Cafe is well-organized, with each genre in its own section and an online database. Furthermore, the prices are also fair since most books cost between 150 Baht to 200 Baht.

We also found their trade-in program interesting, which gives its customers a shop credit of up to half the price of the book bought in-store. For those who want to declutter their books at home, Dāsa also offers bookselling and book exchange services.

If we weren’t on a schedule, we could have easily lost an entire afternoon browsing for interesting reads on all three floors of this establishment. Multiple columns of books are stacked on each other, packed from floor to ceiling. 

However, we found the second and third floors uncomfortable and suffocating. While there are air conditioners available, we think that those are insufficient for cooling the place when the weather is hot and humid.

Since Dāsa Book Cafe is located at the main Sukhumvit Road, parking is unavailable at the store. On the upside, customers can park at the BTS Phrom Prong station, which is only a five-minute walk to the store.

Finally, as its name suggests, coffee selections and desserts are available at the counter. The surprisingly well-made coffee and cakes are perfect for those who want to nibble on something while browsing through their newly-acquired literary treasures from Dāsa.

4. Candide Books & Cafe

Candide Books & Cafe Homepage_1

Services: Graphic Novels, Lifestyle, Self Development, General Knowledge, Painting, Psychology, Law & Politics, Novels, Travel Books, Poetry, History, Philosophy

Website: https://www.candidebooks.com/

Address: 41/1 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

Contact Details: +66 2 861 0967

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Google Reviews Score4.2/5
Restaurant Guru Score3.9/5
TripAdvisor Score4/5
Total Reviews4/5
Score Consistency4/5
Book Selection3/5
Staff5/5
Establishment4/5
Customer Satisfaction4/5

Pros

  • Hip, riverside location
  • Industrial chic vibe
  • Hosts weekend concerts
  • Has a cafe and a large garden

Cons

  • Only offers Thai titles
  • Only accepts cash payments

Candide Books & Cafe is an oasis after walking through a maze of stalls selling juice, handbags, and som tum, or papaya salad. It is located at the hip arts and retail center by the Chao Phraya River called The Jam Factory.

Interestingly, this compound has been a popular riverside lifestyle spot in Bangkok since its establishment in 2014. The brainchild of famed Thai architect Duangrit Bunnag, The Jam Factory is a modern industrial chic concept that melds aspects of traditional and hip Thai culture.

Candide Books & Cafe instantly became our favorite due to its well-executed combination of books, coffee, and greenery. We like the large garden in the courtyard, which is perfect for a stroll while taking a break when searching for books.

Although it only offers Thai books, it is well stocked with titles from independent publishers and translated works. We think this store is still worth visiting for non-Thai speakers since it provides plenty of engagement, great coffee, and a good selection of gift ideas.

Another notable thing about Candide Books & Cafe is the weekend events. Occasionally, classical and jazz performances are held in the venue, which is a great way for families and friends to spend some downtime together and immerse in the arts.

On the other hand, this place can get crowded at times. It is a constant hive of activity with its frequent book launches and talks by Thai writers, readers, and diners.

5. Zombie Books

Zombie Books Homepage

Services: English Books, Thai Books, Art Books, Children’s Books

Website: https://zombiebooks.co/

Address: 21/118 Royal City Building, Avenue Soi Rama 9 Research Center, Khwaeng Bang Kapi, Khwaeng Bang Kapi, Khet Huai Khwang, Bangkok, Bang Kapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok, Thailand

Contact Details: +66 2 225 3861

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:30 am to 12:00 am

Google Reviews Score4.2/5
Total Reviews4.2/5
Score Consistency5/5
Book Selection4/5
Staff5/5
Establishment4/5
Customer Satisfaction4.2/5

Pros

  • Has a decent variety of English and Thai books
  • Also serves coffee and pizza
  • Open until midnight

Cons

  • The establishment is too dim and warm

Next on our list is Zombie Books, a late-night bookstore in the heart of the hottest nightlife area in Bangkok, Royal City Avenue, or RCA. While this unassuming bookstore seems out of place amid the frenetic bars and hipster coffee shops, it lures curious bookworms due to its quirkiness.

On the other hand, it blends in better in this nightlife spot on Friday and Saturdays when the 70’s style bar on its 4th floor is open and abuzz with live music and a hip crowd. 

Founded by writer and publisher Trirat Thanarungroj, Zombie Books sets itself apart from other stores in Bangkok by shaking up the traditional idea of a bookstore. Aside from selling books and having a weekend bar, it also serves as a co-working area, exhibition space, and cafe.

Our favorite thing about Zombie Books is its third-floor cafe space, where customers are free to read any book of their choice for as long as they like. Furthermore, the book selections are also decent, with a good range of art books, children’s books, and bestsellers in English and Thai.

On the downside, the place is pretty crowded on weeknights, especially when the band is playing. We also found the air conditioners lacking in power as the entire store felt warm and stuffy.

Moreover, we think that Zombie Books can improve the brightness of the store to make it more conducive to its reading customers. While its current lighting situation adds to the cozy ambiance, we found it more suitable for a nap.

Nonetheless, we found Zombie Books a welcoming and cozy place where people can focus on their work during the day. The ample tables and seating options make it a good option for those who need a quiet co-working space that serves good coffee and pizza.

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