For any book-lover, browsing bookstores is a wonderful pastime but can be a costly hobby when you add up the hundreds of dollars it will cost you to buy just four books. This is where second-hand bookstores come in, offering good quality books without costing you an arm and a leg in the process. Now, when compared to London, Hong Kong does not have much to offer in the way of second-hand or used books. But, that isn’t to say it doesn’t have anything. Here are three places that I’ve frequented here in Hong Kong, offering cheap but amazing books.
1. Flow Bookshop – A book store on a mission to extend the lifespans of books
Flow is often heard of but rarely actually visited – at least, it is among my friends. Many have told me how they read about it or was told of it by a common acquaintance but that they never actually made the effort to trek to Central to take a look for themselves. They mainly sell second-hand English books and the place itself is overflowing with books sticking out from every nook and cranny. Flow was in danger of permanently closing earlier this year due to rising rents and a decrease in profits. They were saved at the eleventh hour with donations from the public totalling $150,000, allowing the bookstore to stay. I’d suggest you head over there as soon as possible, before it slips through our fingers for good. Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 7pm Address: 204, 2/F Lyndhurst Building, 23-39 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong Website: http://flowbooks.net
2. Booksmart – A used book store with over 7,000 titles
Booksmart sells both new and used books both in the form of their brick-and-mortar store as well as online. They sell books in a wide-range of genres, with everything from Biographies and Horror to Business and Fantasy. If you’re not up for the trip, you can take advantage of their online ordering service. They offer both collections and delivery for online orders. Be aware, however, that they charge delivery fees based on your address, which could be waived should you purchase over $250 worth of books – which I’m sure any bibliophile could do easily! Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday, 11am – 6:30pm Address: 212, 11/F Glorious Commericial Building 210-212 Des Voeux Road West Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong Website: http://www.booksmarthk.com
3. Oxfam HK – Get a book and make a small impact
Oxfam is a worldwide charity that sells second-hand and used items in their stores for the purposes of helping people in crisis across the world. I love visiting charity shops because you can usually find some gems there, for an extremely low price. You know what they say – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That is so true when it comes to Oxfam’s book-selling operation. They get many donations from people willing to part with their beloved books, which they then sell off immediately or restore should they not be in the best conditions. It is a truly amazing place, and it’ll give you some points on the karmic scale, as you’re effectively giving to charity with each purchase. Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm Saturday, 10am – 2pm Address: LG8, Jardine House 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong Armed with this information, it’s time to head out and fill your bookshelves – all without (completely) breaking the bank.