The Best Second-Hand Bookshops In Hong Kong

Kristin Klein/Flickr
Kristin Klein/Flickr
Photo of Sally Gao
1 November 2016

Attention, bookworms: buying books on a budget in Hong Kong isn’t impossible. While the city isn’t exactly known for its independent book outlets, here are a few gems where you can browse through some pre-loved volumes. After all, there’s nothing more nostalgic than the smell of old books…


Building, Shop
Specializing in English-language books, Booksmart has something for everyone, with thousands of books in stock from every category, from crime thrillers to textbooks to self-help paperbacks. Most volumes go for somewhere between $20 and $50, and if you’re too busy to make the trek to Sai Ying Pun, you can shop online via their website. They deliver to anywhere in Hong Kong, with free delivery for orders over $250.

Flow Books

Founded in 1997 by a husband and wife, browsing the shelves at Flow Books is the quaintest of shopping experiences, with every nook and cranny crammed with overflowing volumes. They carry both old and new books in English and Chinese, including out-of-print and rare first editions.There are also magazines, CDs, DVDs, and comics. With some volumes as cheap as $15, it’s a steal.

The Book Cure

A welcome alternative to big corporate bookstores, this small 130 square foot space in the old market town of Tai Po is a treasure trove of second-hand volumes. The books here are mostly Chinese, with a small selection of English volumes. Where books aren’t crammed in shelves, they’re stacked waist-high on the floor or packed in wooden crates outside the entrance.

Shop F021, Plover Cove Road, Tai Po Market, +85 253 923 220

Living Bookspace

Market, Shop
Pop into this tiny bookshop in Yuen Long for an eclectic range of books at absurdly reasonable prices. Living Bookspace carries all kinds of books, and although most are in Chinese, they have a solid selection of English books, ranging from bestselling paperbacks to heavy philosophy reads. A haven for bookworms indeed.

Hau Yau Book Store

Established in 2002 and located in the artsy neighborhood of Sai Ying Pun, Hau Yau sells old and second-hand books in Chinese, ranging from textbooks, novels, and art books to nonfiction, as well as CDs. They operate on an environmentally friendly principle, and will personally come to pick up any books you want to sell. All donated books are disinfected and cleaned before they’re put on the shelves.

Spirit Book Store

A testament to the fact that literature will never go out of fashion, Spirit was originally established in 1958 in Mong Kok, and now resides in North Point. Distinctive for its bright green shelves, this store is a pleasure to browse. The books here are mostly in Chinese, but there’s a great selection of English books to be found too.

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