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The thrill of entering a bookshop is probably all-too-familiar with book lovers. For us, exploring a room filled with a plethora of books is akin to discovering a wonderful destination. If you’re looking for unique titles that are sadly unavailable in your local shops, why not add bookstores in your itinerary when you travel abroad? Who knows? You might chance upon a rare find that would turn out to be a gem of a read. Find the next addition to your ever-growing pile of to-read books on your next trip at these bookstores around Asia.


Kitazawa Bookstore, Tokyo, Japan



Think it will be hard to find English books in Japan? Well, Kitazawa Bookstore proves otherwise. The bookstore, which has been around in Jimbocho since 1902, is known for offering a variety of English books covering different topics. You’ll find paperbacks and hardbacks of more recent titles, but the real treat here are the antique books dating back from the Middle Ages. If you’re also into classics and love collecting second-hand books in mint condition, then this place is totally your vibe.


Eslite Bookstore, Taipei, Taiwan



Want to just spend the whole night reading and browsing through hundreds of titles? Head off to Eslite’s branch in Dunhua. Aside from offering a wide range of genres, you can find music, food, and even clothing items in this multi-storey branch. Because it’s open for 24 hours, it has become one of the most popular bookstores in Taipei, earning a spot in every bookworm’s travel itinerary. 



Fully Booked, Taguig, Philippines



If you want hundreds of bestsellers to browse upon, Fully Booked’s location in Bonifacio High Street is a must-visit. Its spacious four-storey shop houses titles of different genres, a whole new uncharted territory for bibliophiles looking for a great read. From fiction bestsellers to children’s lit, this bookstore has everything in-store for everyone. But, in case that it doesn’t have the book you’re looking for, you can even put in a special request, and they’ll do what they can to give you a copy.


BookXcess, George Town, Malaysia



BookXcess became popular for their numerous Young Adult books sourced from production overprints. So while their stocks are completely brand new, they are able to offer it at a considerably lower price. They’re also the organisers of the popular Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. But in case their touring fair didn’t stop over your city and you’re flying to Malaysia anyway, opt to get your hands on their bestsellers in their bookstores instead. They have branches all over the country, but if you want to especially take a great snap of your trip, head off to their Gurney Paragon branch in George Town and pose right by their totally IG-worthy bookcase. 



BooksActually, Singapore



While visiting the largest bookstores can be great if you’re looking for variety and bestsellers, make sure to visit local independent shops once in a while, too. If you ever find yourself in Singapore, go off the beaten path and dash straight to BooksActually. Aside from offering obscure titles, they also specialise in home-grown Singaporean literature — just perfect if you want to take home a meaningful souvenir from your trip.


(Cover photo from: @kitazawa_books)



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