With the current CMCO mandating two additional weeks of #stayhome, there’s no better time than the present to catch up on your reading. After all, with travel and movement restrictions in place, what better way to expand your mind and traverse new worlds than through the pages of a book? Thankfully, Kuala Lumpur is not short of incredible bookstores, and its independent, locally owned ones are especially worth a visit and support in these trying times. Swing by to pick up your lockdown reads or order them online – some of these spots are even offering exclusive promos on book purchases to tide you through the CMCO. Read on to discover our top picks of independent bookstores in the Klang Valley.
In the last year, bookstore chain BookXcess has shifted its focus from selling remaindered books to creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind stores. The new outlet on the basement level of Sunsuria Forum in Shah Alam has garnered the attention of bibliophiles from Kuala Lumpur and across Malaysia. It features several intimate hole-in-the-bookshelf reading nooks, Instagrammable spots and an adorable cafe.
With a collection of over 500,000 books spanning all genres, there will always be something to suit your fancy. Picture worthy spots include the gargantuan curved bookshelf at the entrance of the store for a #shelfie and the mini-maze in the children’s section, where you can roam and unleash your inner child. Not sure what books to grab? Get inspired by its new Stay at Home Series, a curated pick of recommended reads for these times.
SB-1, Sunsuria Forum, 1 Jalan Setia Dagang, Shah Alam
2. Lit Books
Literary lovers turn to Lit Books for their thoughtful selection of books, meticulously handpicked by the owners. Husband-and-wife team Min Hun Fong and Elaine Lau were former journalists who have transformed their love for prose into a sanctuary for book lovers. While the store is remaining close throughout the CMCO, you can still shop the collection online – they’re even running a 10% off sitewide discount from now till 27 October.
More than just a bookstore, Lit Books offers venue space for events and book club meetups. Coffee lovers will revel in the in-house Nespresso bar, where you’d be spoilt for choice for a cup of joe, while visitors will delight at the literary-themed trinkets such as tote bags and stationery cases available in-store.
Golf & Country Resort, 7410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
3. Silverfish Books
Since it first opened in 1999, Silverfish Books has gained a reputation for its selection of several rare titles, a well-curated mix of literary classics as well as an offbeat lineup of local books. Silverfish is also one of the leading publishers of Malaysian writing in English, and they regularly hold discussions for writers to share all about their respective works. A big supporter of the local literary scene, owner Raman Krishnan also publishes up-and-coming writers under the Silverfish Books brand and successfully produced some of the best local works in Malaysia.
20-2F, Bangsar Village 2
Read more: Taiwan’s famous 24-hour bookstore is set to open its doors in Malaysia
4. Junk Bookstore
There is no junk to be found here; only rare literary gems, some of which are first edition or have gone out of print. Located along Jalan Tun H S Lee, Junk Bookstore is a nondescript shop that might easily be missed by bypassers. But for those who do venture in, they will be treated to a treasure trove of secondhand books, jammed packed in the three-storey bookstore that has been in operation since 1990. Be sure to set aside a few hours to slowly browse through the entire collection to discover some intriguing titles.
Read more: Author Pico Iyer on how we can keep a sense of wonder in our day-to-day
In view of the current CMCO, please adhere to the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) while dining in. Do check each establishment’s official websites for opening hours and requirements before visiting.