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It’s always a joy to meet other book lovers, and an even greater joy to stumble on incredible bookshops filled with literary treasures.

In our humble opinion, while big brand bookstores such as Borders, Kinokuniya and Barnes and Noble carry the latest books – vintage/used bookstores can sometimes provide a more thrilling treasure hunt instead.

Simply put, when you’re there, you won’t know quite what to expect until you find it – and it truly feels like a treasure hunt. For example, a vintage classic leather bound book of Julius Caesar & Othello by William Shakespeare. (We found and bought this at Dasa Book Cafe!)

Also read:

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Without further ado, read on to discover the 4 fantastical bookstores in Bangkok where you’ll find rare collectors’ books and more – if you’re looking to find some new reads!

1. Incredible book heaven with rare collectibles – Dasa Book Cafe

Accordingly, this is the biggest second-hand bookshop in Bangkok with over 18,000 books! Before stepping in, the shop front with its cart of used books on sale outside looks like a simple and unassuming book cafe.

Photo via TripCanvas

Step in and take a look around, follow the signs and you’ll discover 3 floors of books organised according to genre.

Photo via TripCanvas

From adult fiction and interesting coffee table books on the first floor, to children’s books and fantasy books on the second floor, and vintage classic books and foreign language books on the third – there’s a lot more on offer we haven’t listed!

Photo via TripCanvas

Take your time to browse through the titles, pick up a book or more and make payment or settle down at a table on the first floor or one of the several reading spaces available.

Photo by petitekookai, maxmartins life

Drinks and simple cakes are available to satiate the hungry reader!

Photo via TripCanvas

PS: If you have unwanted books, feel free to trade them in for a discount or purchase credit!

PPS: Another great thing about Dasa Book Cafe is their website which is constantly updated to show all the titles they carry! If you’re the sort that likes to know what to expect, feel free to check it out before heading down.

Dasa Book Cafe

Address: 714/4 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand,
Nearest BTS: Phrom Phong BTS Station (4 minute walk)
Contact: +66 2 661 2993
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 8pm
Price: From USD $2.60 / approx. 90 Baht

Website

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2. Step into a gorgeous literary mansion with old and rare books – Neilson Hays Library

Providing one of the largest selections of English books in Bangkok, Neilson Hays Library is one picturesque discovery.

Photo by may satita

Located in a vintage European-style mansion, this library provides a wonderful selection of approximately 20,000 books with a wide collection of English titles ranging from contemporary fiction to children’s books.

Photo by demonpanda, sikarnw

There are several reading nooks around, including a children’s corner. Otherwise, head to the glass house connected to the main building where you’ll find the Garden Cafe and Gallery. Coffee, small bites and eye-opening exhibitions can be found here!

Photo by yamyeah, mj ladpli

Apart from that, the library regularly holds book sales (that includes old and rare books), and other events such as monthly book clubs and more.

For travellers, do note that many books on the Southeast Asian region (including some early editions) can be found here that are difficult to find elsewhere.

Neilson Hays Library

Address: 195 Surawong Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest BTS: Chong Nonsi BTS Station (14 minute walk)
Contact: +66 2 233 1731
Opening hours: Tues-Sun, 9.30am to 5pm (closed on Mondays)
Price: From USD $0.50 / approx. 20 Baht

Website


3. A quirky bookshop full of interesting knickknacks and titles! – Passport Bookshop

Owned by bibliophile Amnat Rattanamanee, Passport Bookshop is one of those hidden little gems oozing with character. You’ll find an assortment of knickknacks all around from Russian dolls to masks and children’s toys that sets the adventurous vibes here.

Photo by pamrubkwan

While not as big as other bookstores on this list, it definitely holds its own with an engaging array of titles available. There’s a fair share of English books ranging from travel-oriented books, including  literature, photo books and guides – along with a good number of Thai titles too.

Photo by pukhippie

A visit to Passport Bookshop feels a little like digging into a forgotten box of treasures, not knowing what you’ll pick up. If you’re up for an adventure, we definitely recommend coming here, ordering a coffee and browsing through the titles.

Photo by stefiemichelle

Remember to keep your eyes peeled for the fun tips and recommendations plastered around the store too!

Photo by mayzlody, faienfant

PS: With different quotes displayed everywhere, you never know when inspiration will strike!

Passport Bookshop

Address: ถนนพระสุเมรุ บวรนิเวศ พระนคร Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Getting there: Take the MRT to Hua Lamphong MRT Station, then take a 14 minute drive to the bookshop.
Contact: +66 2 629 0694
Opening hours: Tues-Thurs and Sunday, 10.30am to 7pm; Fri-Sat, 10.30am to 8pm (closed on Mondays)
Price: From USD $0 / approx. 0 Baht (Seriously, there’s a Free Basket filled with books for free. This is to encourage those in the community who might not be able to afford a book, or for kids to read, and to help clear space for new books. Note: We highly recommend readers not to take advantage of this, but to leave the freebies for those who need it more!)

Website

4. Special Mention: It’s creative, local, and a great place to read – Candide Books & Café

Named after the famous French satire novel by Voltaire in 1759, Candide Books & Cafe is a wonderful spot to relax with your favourite books.

You only need to know 4 things.

1. Candide Books & Cafe only stocks Thai titles.

Photo by saialice

2. Some of the Thai books available would make interesting buys for your coffee table/bookshelf back home, even if you may not be able to read them. For example, these quirky books below by local writers. (One only wishes there were English translations of these books!)

Photo by koiisirin

3. There’s an art gallery with plenty of creative exhibitions happening.

Photo by candidebooks

4. It serves great coffee and tea and great eats too!

Photo by lielyyyy

5. Knack Market is right beside, so you can hop out to

Photo by candicebooks

All you have to do once you arrive? Settle into the plush leather sofas and start indulging in your favourite book!

PS: It’s a gorgeous riverside location with regular jazz and cello performances, along with potential celebrity sightings – a very hip local joint not to miss if you love a great ambience.

Candide Books & Café

Address: 41/1 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600, Thailand\
Getting there: To get here, take the ferry in front of Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel (for 3 Baht), then make your way to The Jam Factory. (It’s located next to Millennium Hilton and Klongsan Market!)
Contact: +66 2 861 0967
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 8pm
Price: From USD $2.60 / approx. 90 Baht

Website

Are you looking forward to visiting any of these bookstores?

Let us know in the comments below if you enjoyed this article, we’d really love to hear from you!

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