Jakarta may not be a world-famous literary city, but many great authors and literary works have been born and celebrated in this place. Jakarta
also has a growing market of readers with an insatiable hunger for local and international masterpieces beyond the mainstream, many of which require an extra effort to find. Discover the best independent bookstores in Jakarta.
Aksara curates the best local and imported books, ranging from classics to the newly-published. It has quickly become one of the most popular book shopping spots in Jakarta, with three stores located in prominent neighborhoods. Beyond books, this independent bookstore also sells souvenirs, crafts, and even vinyl.
Aksara, Jalan Kemang Raya, Bangka, South Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia, +6221 7199288
Aksara, Jalan TB Simatupang Kav 17, Cilandak Town Square 1st Floor unit 153, South Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia, +6221 75920347
Aksara, Jalan Jend. Sudirman No.52-53, Pacific Place, South Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia, +6221 57973740
This little store shares the complex with Salihara’s theater buildings, exhibition halls, and office. Managed by Komunitas Salihara, a prominent member of the arts and culture community in Indonesia, this independent bookstore offers curated books, CDs, and artisan crafts. Most of the books that can be found in Gerai Salihara are literary works from Indonesian writers, cultural essays, and memoirs, some of which are rarely found in chain bookstores.
Gerai Salihara, at Komunitas Salihara, Jalan Salihara No. 16, RT.11/RW.3, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia, +6221 7891202
This alternative bookstore is located in Pasar Santa, a traditional-turned-trendy market in South Jakarta. On top of its distinctive selection of creative and youthful books, this bookshop also serves as a creative space, where events like writers workshops, book launches, and book discussions are held. POST Santa sells books published by indie publishers from Indonesia and around the world, and covers short stories, essays and literary works. It also manages a small independent publisher called POST Press.
POST Santa, Pasar Santa Modern, Jl. Cipaku I, South Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia
This self-described book studio has an impressive collection of curated vintage classics, including the most treasured Penguin Classic paperbacks. This online-based independent bookshop is a creative answer to a real need for more classic books circulating in Indonesia. It also has a vast collection of non-fictions titles. Seumpama Books can also be found in various events or bazaars in Jakarta.
Art & Science
Art & Science is more a lifestyle store than a bookstore, but its curated book collection is impressive enough to put the store in this list. Many of the books and crafts on sale here are not available anywhere else in Indonesia. The selection of style books, other non-fiction and imported magazines is vast.
Art & Science, Grand Indonesia East Mall, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia, +6221 23581221