Local bookstores

I think we can all agree that any bookstore is charming to a fellow bookworm. Leave a pile of books stranded on the streets with a sign that says ‘books for sale’ and I can guarantee you a swarm of bibliophiles shoving their way in just to take a peek. Though what is it that makes a bookstore so addicting? Or better, what makes your bookstore so special?

Being an Indonesian book lover with a fetish for exploring (and of course buying) new books, it’s been a bit of a struggle. Bookstores here aren’t all over the place, they’re either located far from where I live or sells Indonesian novels. Yes, you heard right, I’m an Indonesian who has a distaste for local books (books that are not written in English). I’ve never considered going into them nor have I ever considered picking one up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to have writers from my country pursue their dreams of having their books published, cause in my country, it ain’t that easy to do so. It’s just that coming from a family whom I speak english with most of the time I find it useless (cause I won’t even understand half of what the book is talking about anyway). Despite my feelings towards local books, my mother thinks otherwise. She’s been an ardent reader for as long as I can remember, and she’s been scavenging novels her whole life. Sure she’s got a few imported books lying around, but it does not beat the crowd of Indonesian books stacked and piled on her shelf. The size of it is intimidating, believe me.

Now, there are a few bookstores here that sells imported books, just a few, but boy am I eternally grateful for them. I’ve never been happier to step foot in a place where I can relate with the people and just enjoy their presence. To me, these bookstores are a treasure. Those stores are: Books & Beyond, Periplus, and Kinokuniya. It always feels like I’ve struck gold each time I discover them in different places. Here are my thoughts on them:

Books & Beyond

Probably the one place I’ve been to most of the time. It takes me no more than ten minutes to get there, service is excellent, and they have membership cards in which you get 20% off each book you purchase.T hey’re also an online bookstore and ALL their prices are 20% off, member or not. Score! 😀

I buy most of my books there, and I’ve never regret doing so. Books & Beyond also has occasional discounts and ‘special offers’. Recently they put up a few books that were sold for no more than 5,000 rupiah (That’s equivalent to 37 cents). Crazy!

I think it’s clear that this is by far my favourite local bookstore. I love how they always get readers to interact with each other and tries their best to satisfy people. I hope they receive the recognition they so deserve and that people would love this bookstore just as much as I do!

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Compared to Books & Beyond, Periplus has a larger selection of books. Also I live miles away from the closest Periplus bookstore (cries). One thing for sure is that every time I’m looking for a specific book that isn’t found anywhere else, it’s always found displayed on their shelves! It’s scary how accurate this store is, my wish list grows shorter each time, but so does my budget (again, cries). Blame Periplus for their range of books! Can’t seem to stay away from them.

In book events, Periplus seem to be present most of the time. I went to one recently and, well, let’s just say my poor wallet got beaten and bruised. Despite my splurge, I managed to haul about 6 books. I was rather content, if you ask me.

Once again, thank you, Periplus 😉

This store is pure malice, I tell you! They always suck you in and tempt you with their range of books, but it was all worth it. I mean, who can say no to books? (that’s obviously a rhetorical question cause no one can say no to books, duh)

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You’re all probably familiar with this particular bookstore. I consider myself lucky for having two branches here in Indonesia. Neverthless, they are, once again, located far from where I live (so much crying but yet again, cries) :'(. From the three, Kinokuniya has gotten the largest selection of books. Their prices though? Not very happy with it. I always find myself digging out the ‘bargain books’ bin cause the books there seemed to be the only ones I can afford. Though one thing that’s made me favour this bookstore is how up to date it is. If you’re unaware, Indonesia does not get hold of the release date that easily. I was surprised to see Carry On by Rainbow Rowell already displayed before the release date! Though I admit I was a little disappointed to see that it was in paperback, I decided to wait a little longer for the hardback to arrive (fingers crossed).

Another thing I like about this store are their selection of classics. It’s thanks to Kino that I’ve discovered the new Penguin Library editions, Clothbound classics, Canterbury classics and so much more! ❤

I always find myself dragging my friends to this bookstore. Seems like we can always fangirl over the covers and pretty editions we wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. It’s a place where you can just gaze at the books and feel giddy about it without having to spend your money on them. And for that, Kino plays a huge part in me.

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I’ll always be thankful for the existence of local bookstores. They’ve allowed me to keep that addiction I have for books and I’ve never been happier for spending most of my money on books. I can’t imagine the world without bookstores, and local or not, we are all to appreciate each and every one of them.

3 thoughts on “Local bookstores

  1. Relate relate relate! There’s only one brand of bookstore in Cambodia and they don’t have that wide selection of books even TT I can hardly find secondhand bookstores. But luckily, my English school is quiet near that one branch of the said bookstore! But I still can’t go there all the time because I can only stare at them sometimes ($$$) and because I can only go when I have my English class. I don’t really like local books either! They have always been my sleeping pills! 😀


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