For such a metropolitan city, bookshops in Bangkok are a little thin on the ground.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any, but it’s difficult to stumble across them quite so easily as in London, New York or Paris, say.

Essentially, you need to know where you’re going when you’re looking for books in Bangkok, so we’ve compiled a list of the city’s English language bookshops, organised by neighbourhood.

Let us know in the comments if there’s any you think we should add to this list.

Bookshops in Sukhumvit

bangkok bookshops

Dasa Book Cafe

Otherwise known as the “expat ghetto”, the Sukhumvit neighbourhood is probably home to the highest proportion of Westerners in Bangkok and, as such, the highest proportion of English language bookshops.

Kinokuniya

3rd Floor, Glass Quartier, EmQuartier, 689 Sukhumvit Road

Kinokuniya (or just “Kino” to its regulars) is Thailand’s largest bookstore chain and holds one of the most comprehensive stocks in the city.

They also sell CDs, magazines, stationery, crafts and hobby goods, as well as Thai, Chinese, Japanese and English language books.

Public transport: phrom Phong bts

Asia Books

Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Road

EmQuartier, 689 Sukhumvit Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: PHROM PHONG BTS

Landmark Plaza, 2-4 Sukhumvit Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Nana BTS

221 Sukhumvit Soi 15

Terminal 21, Sukhumvit Soi 19

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: asok BTS/sukhumvit mrt

Although individual stores are much smaller than Kinokuniya’s, Asia Books has a huge number of branches throughout Bangkok and a similarly comprehensive stock.

They also sell lifestyle products and e-books online.

Dasa Books

714/4 Sukhumvit Road (between Sois 26 and 28)

Dasa is Bangkok’s best second hand bookshops, home to a staggering 18,000+ books! You can read an in-depth feature and interview with the owner on What’s On Sukhumvit.

Check out their continually updated database here.

public transport: phrom phong bts

Sun Books

Phrom Phong BTS, between Sukhumvit Soi 33 & 35

Sukhumvit Soi 39

Sun Books is another second hand book store with two small shops in Phrom Phong that buy and sell Japanese and English language books.

The English language selection is seemingly dominated by fiction and arranged somewhat haphazardly.

public transport: phrom phong bts

Li-Zenn

81 Sukhumvit Soi 26

Li-Zenn is predominantly an academic publisher with a small shop open only on weekends.

They specialise in art, architectures, history and philosophy.

public transport: phrom phong bts

3/6 Book

Sukhumvit Soi 24

Another second-hand bookshop that’s decidedly under the radar in Phrom Phong. Their stock is skewed towards non-fiction, and English and Japanese titles dominate.

Open from 1pm to 9pm daily.

public transport: phrom phong bts

Bookshops in Silom

bookshops in bangkok

By drburtoni (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Silom is another expat-heavy neighbourhood in Bangkok, but doesn’t have quite the same amount of bookshops on offer as Sukhumvit.

Check out alleys, galleries and night markets to pick up the odd book here and there.

Asia Books

Silom Complex, Silom Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Sala daeng BTS, silom mrt

Kathmandu Gallery

87 Pan Road

This art gallery also sells books on Thai art and culture.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Surasak bts

Bookshops in Central Bangkok

bangkok bookshops

Kinokuniya

The districts of Pathum Wan and Lumpini are the centre of Bangkok’s shopping scene – covering the areas of Siam, Chit Lom and Phloen Chit.

The myriad of malls found within all carry the chain bookstores.

Kinokuniya

3rd Floor, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama I Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Siam BTS

6th Floor, Central World, Rajdamri Road

public transport: Chit Lom bts

Asia Books

CRC Tower, All Seasons Place, Wireless Road

Central Embassy, Lumpini

Park Ventures, 57 Wireless Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: phloen chit BTS

Central Chidlom, 1027 Phloen Chit Road

Central World, Rajdamri Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: CHIT LOM BTS

Chamchuri Square, Phaya Thai Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Sam Yan MRT

Chula University Book Centre

Between Chulalongkorn Sois 62 & 64

Although their website is in Thai, Chula’s large book store has a wide selection of English language titles for sale, mostly academic.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Siam bts

Bangkok Art & Culture Centre

Rama 1 Road

You can find books scattered throughout the gift shops of the BACC and specifically on the third floor in their Hardcover Art Book Shop. Thai art and culture are the major subjects covered.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: National stadium BTS

Bookshops in the Old City

bangkok bookshops

Democracy Monument. By Hatoriz Kwansiripat (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Phra Nakhon — otherwise known as the Old City — is the cultural heart of Bangkok. Home to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Giant Swing and, of course, backpacking Mecca, Khao San Road.

There are a few second hand and specialist bookshops in this part of the city, but there are also lots of mobile stands and unnamed holes-in-the-wall selling books too – a little exploration is needed to fully appreciate the area.

Shaman

71 Khao San Road

This is Khao San Road’s biggest second hand bookstore, treasured by those on the Southeast Asia backpacking trail. Fiction sits alongside tomes on religion, culture and meditation.

public transport: Phra Athit Pier (Chao phraya express boat)

Book Lover

60 Soi Rambuttri

Open Tuesday to Sunday with no sign on the door, but a distinct clean, all-white facade. They possess an excellent second-hand stock of Southeast Asia history and culture alongside fiction, travel, maps and other languages.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: PHRA ATHIT PIER (CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT)

Bookazine

62 Khao San Road

Mostly international magazines and newspapers with a few fiction and travel books.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: PHRA ATHIT PIER (CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT)

Moonlight Book Shop

46/1 Khao San Road

An alleyway stocked with second-hand books – mostly fiction and travel guides.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: PHRA ATHIT PIER (CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT)

Ton’s Bookseller

327/5 Soi Rambuttri

A few politics, history and culture books alongside a large Thai-language selection.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: PHRA ATHIT PIER (CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT)

Rim Khob Fa Books

78/1 Ratchadamoen Klang Road

General interest books are stocked alongside academic titles. Found on the Democracy Monument roundabout.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: None

Mahamakut Buddhist University Bookstore

248 Phra Sumen Road

Here you’ll find everything Buddhist: scriptures, history, academics, philosophy, meditation, biographies, manuals and more.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Phra athit pier (Chao phraya express boat)

Passport Bookshop

523 Prasumeru Road

Both second-hand and handmade books can be found in this brilliant bookshop, as well as both English language and Thai titles. There’s good stock in Asian studies, fiction, travel and language study.

There’s also a little cafe on site too.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: none

Suan Spirit

77-79 Fuang Nakhon Road

Although the website is in Thai, there are some English language titles available in this Chinatown bookshop. Tomes on politics and sociology are in situ and there’s also a cafe on site.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: tha thien pier (chao phraya express boat)

Bookshops in Northern Bangkok

bookshops in bangkok

Chatuchak Market. By Matthew Klein (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Northeast Bangkok, specifically the neighbourhoods of Ari, Chatuchak, Don Mueang and Chaeng Watthana, is more popular with Thais than expats so English language bookshops are somewhat thin on the ground.

Having said that, Asia Books seem to have quite a grip on this end of the city, while the book market of the mighty Chatuchak also has a few hidden gems.

Asia Books

La Villa Phaholyothin, 358 Phaholyothin Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Ari BTS

Central Chaengwatthana, Changwattana Road

public transport: none

Central Plaza Ladprao, Phahonyothin Road

public transport: phahon yothin mrt

Crystal Park, Praditmanutham Road, Lad Phrao

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE

Future Park Rangsit, 94 Phahonyothin Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE

Fashion Island, Ramintra Road, near Siam Park City

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE

The Mall Ngamwongwan, 39-50 Ngam Wong Wan Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE

Tome Raiders

Chatuchak Market

A second-hand bookshop buried in the labyrinth of JJ Market, open Wednesday to Sunday. Books start from just THB10!

Public transport: mo chit bts, chatuchak park mrt

Dilok Books

Chatuchak Market

The biggest second-hand bookshop in the market, open Wednesday to Sunday.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: MO CHIT BTS, CHATUCHAK PARK MRT

Number 18

Chatuchak Market

A second-hand bookshop stand selling magazines, art books and fiction, open Wednesday to Sunday. Books start from just THB10!

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: MO CHIT BTS, CHATUCHAK PARK MRT

Number 33

Chatuchak Market

An international magazine stand, open Tuesday to Sunday. Prices start from just THB20!

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: MO CHIT BTS, CHATUCHAK PARK MRT

55 Bookstore

Chatuchak Market

A second-hand magazine store in Chatuchak, also selling travel books, fiction and non-fiction.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: MO CHIT BTS, CHATUCHAK PARK MRT

Bookshops in Southern Bangkok

bangkok bookshops

Bangna. By Kitty Chirapongse (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Heading out towards the province of Samut Prakan, the area known as Upper Sukhumvit – Phra Khanong, On Nut, Udom Suk and Bangna – is pretty light on English language book shops, save for a few branches of Asia Books.

Asia Books

Central City Bangna, Bangna-Trad Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: none

Mega Bangna, 6 Bangna-Trad Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE

Paradise Park Shopping Centre, 61 Srinagarindra Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE

Seacon Square, Srinagarindra Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE

Bookshops near Rama IX

bangkok bookshops

Rama IX intersection. By Thibaud Saintin (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The neighbourhoods near Rama IX – Ratchada, Din Daeng and Phetchaburi – are home to large Thai communities and relatively light on Westerners.

Although second-hand bookshops are seemingly absent, there are a few Asia Books outlets.

Asia Books

Central Plaza Rama 9, Ratchadaphisek Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Phra Ram 9 MRT

Esplanade Shopping Mall, 99 Ratchadaphisek Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Thailand cultural centre

Bookshops on the Other Side of the River

bangkok bookshops

By Swaminathan (CC BY 2.0)

Again, the neighbourhoods of Bangkok Noi and the province of Thonburi on the western banks of the Chao Phraya are dominated by Thais so English language bookshops are in short supply. Asia Books have a couple of stores here.

Asia Books

Central Plaza Pinklao, Arun Amarin, Bangkok Noi

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE

The Mall Bangkae, Petchakasem Road

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: NONE