Cover Gerakbudaya bookshop (Photo:

Browse at these delightful Penang bookstores online or plan a visit once it's safe to travel again

Book Xcess

If there's one thing Malaysians love more than their books, it's their bookstores. Local book retailer Book Xcess knows this well, and its successful line of awe-inspiring stores across Malaysia is part of the brand's commitment to make books more accessible to Malaysian readers and to encourage English literacy.   

Book Xcess Gurney Paragon deserves a mention for its behemoth-like space made of a combined 12 lots across two levels in Gurney Paragon mall. It has a three-storey bookshelf that runs the length of the mall itself, officially the tallest and largest bookshelf in Southeast Asia to date.

In the mood to buy some books online? Book Xcess offers a 48-hour delivery service at regular shipping rates for select locations in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (Do note that this service is not available during specific promotional periods).

163D-7.06-7.16 & L8.02-8.-5, Gurney Paragon, Persiaran Gurney, Penang | +604-295 0152 

See also: Book Xcess Founders Andrew Yap And Jacqueline Ng Are Propagating Worldwide Literacy

The Nooks, Books & Coffee

How we miss laidback places like The Nook Books & Coffee, a charming second-hand bookstore for bibliophiles to discover various titles over cups of coffee and slices of cake from Three Nomad cafe. True to its name, Nook Books & Coffee offers plenty of quiet corners to curl up with a book, whether it be a cosy chair surrounded by towering bookshelves or a cheerful courtyard dotted with potted plants. 

Follow @thenookbooksandcoffee on Instagram for updates on its reopening.  

4, Khoo Cheow Teong Court, Lorong Ikan, George Town | +6012-525 2762

Related: 7 New Books To Read In May 2021

Gerakbudaya Bookshop

If you've strolled along the famous Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling street in George Town, Penang, you would have caught sight of Gerakbudaya's cheerful yellow storefront. Over the years, Gerakbudaya has built up a steady following of fans, and has become a well-known haven for the local arts community thanks to its dedicated creative space, Hikayat, which is also the site of its second bookstore specialising in non-fiction titles. We also love the fact that Gerakbudaya carries numerous titles solely on Penang and Southeast Asian studies.  

The Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling branch (pictured above) boasts a selection of fiction and poetry as well as rare titles from independent publishers.   

78, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town  |  226 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (non-fiction)   

See also: Penang & 3 Other Best Asian Islands For A Happy Retirement In 2021

Areca Books

Niche publishing house Areca Books specialises in non-fiction books on social history, visual arts, architecture, cultural heritage. To date, it has published over 30 illustrious and award-winning titles. Areca Bookshop is located just next door to its publishing office in Lebuh Aceh, George Town.  

Count on Areca Books for vastly informative reads on issues and discussions that are relevant to Southeast Asian culture and identity. With the physical bookstore currently closed throughout MCO 3.0, online orders are more important than ever to help keep this local business on its feet.        

72 Lebuh Acheh, Penang | WhatsApp: +6016-555 1910

More: 'The Garden of Evening Mists' Author Tan Twan Eng On How To Write A Bestseller

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