By: Alissa Evangelista
Reading has been a favorite pastime for many. Yet, with the shift to digital platforms, bookstores have to compete to keep up with the changing interests and preferences of readers.
In this High Five article, SEA Wave tours you around bookstores that adapted by making their spaces destinations of their own. Bookworms and content creators alike would sure take an hour or two browsing through the aisles of these Instagram-worthy bookstores in Southeast Asia.
Woods in the books – For the young and the young at heart
Go down memory lane as you stroll through Yong Siak street in Singapore. Woods in the books is a children’s bookstore offering picture and illustration books. If you’ve seen the K-drama “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay”, then think about this place as a spot to get your Ko Moon-Young labels. In no need of children’s books? The bookstore has more to offer for the young at heart. They also sell wooden animal figures, tote bags, and greeting cards for all ages and holidays. Afterward, drop by Plain Vanilla, a cafe a few blocks from the bookstore for more of your IG fix.
Passport Book Shop – For the bibliophiles in the city
In contrast to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Passport Bookshop in Phra Nakhon offers a break from the touristy area of Khao San Road. This bookshop includes a quaint cafe for when you need a breather from the city sounds. Every corner of this space is also picture perfect, so no time goes to waste when you visit here.
Books from underground – For the commuter
Who says commuting is all stressful? Books from Underground is hard to miss if you’re commuting around Manila. Literally situated underground, this bookstore re-opened on Lagusnilad Underpass near Manila City Hall in 2021. It boasts a variety of categories one can choose from. Those who got no time to browse can just strike a photo of this shop’s collection. The underpass where it is situated also features murals of the city’s history and landscape, so you won’t run out of photos for your album!
POST Bookshop – For the conversationalist
POST Bookshop is an independent bookshop and a small publisher in Jakarta, Indonesia. With handpicked books lined up on its shelves, this bookstore boasts a personality unlike any other. Visit the place when they hold book launches, writing workshops and even join their book club. Capture picture-perfect moments with friends in this cute bookstore.
BookXcess – For the curious mind
It’s no surprise why this place may seem familiar to you. BookXcess in Malaysia resembles South Korea’s Starfield Library. There’s no need to fly all the way to South Korea with its Southeast Asian counterpart around. Even as the eighth outlet in Malaysia, Book Xcess in Shah Alam sets itself apart from the rest by being the first tunnel bookstore in the country. This huge bookstore comes with workstations, reading spaces and an in-house cafe great for your candid photos.
Got other bookstore recommendations? Share them in the comments section below!