Malaysia is one of the countries in Asia with a high literacy rate. The country has a population of 30+ million people and a growing English-speaking population.
The bookstore industry in Malaysia is growing rapidly, with more than 8,000 bookstores in the country. These stores are mainly located on street corners and shopping malls throughout the country. Here are some of the most popular bookstores in Malaysia.
If you’re a booklover and you live in KL or Selangor then I am sure you have heard of Kinokuniya. For those of you who don’t know, Kinokuniya is one of the fanciest bookstores in Malaysia.
One thing that stands out about Kinokuniya is their Japanese section which carries not only the latest Japanese best-sellers, but also an interesting selection of manga, art and craft titles, idol photo books, magazines, catalogues, e-books and more.
2. Tsutaya Books, Bukit Jalil
According to its website, Tsutaya is not a simple book shop but a place where a new life- style is offered for the mature and intelligent adults as well as intelligent-creative people. With an impressive selection of titles in English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Bahasa Malaysia, Tsutaya Books is the perfect place to discover your next favorite read.
With over 26 stores in Japan, Tsutaya finally opens its first branch in Southeast Asia in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia. If you’re looking for a place to find inspiration or just want to do some casual reading, Bukit Jalil Tsutaya Books is the place to go!
Popular is one of the most popular (pun intended 😜) bookstore chains in Malaysia. They have branches in almost every state in Malaysia except Terengganu and Perlis.
It is recognised and listed by the Malaysia Book of Records as the largest bookstore chain in Malaysia, with over 800,000 square feet of retail space.
4. Monalisa Bookstore
Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of pure imagination at the Monalisa Bookstore in Bukit Jalil! This gorgeous bookstore is a haven for book lovers, featuring a stunning pastel-colored interior that will transport you to a magical wonderland. And the best part? It also doubles as a cozy cafe!
With three floors of curated books (mostly imported), including a whole floor dedicated to children’s books (open Fridays and weekends), there’s something for everyone at Monalisa.
The Monalisa Bookstore is the perfect place to unwind, relax, and indulge in your love of books. So come on over and get lost in a world of stories, surrounded by the sweetest atmosphere and colors that will brighten up your day.
Think of BookXcess, think of Pop Arts. You know the square framed pictures of celebrities and iconic people plus quotes? Yep, that’s the one!
Since opening its doors in 2007, BookXcess has reinvigorated and redefined bookselling in Malaysia and beyond, offering an unparalleled range of affordably priced books – from classic novels to children’s pop-ups to bestselling self-help titles.
BookXcess is the organiser and sponsor of Big Bad Wolf, the biggest annual book sale in Malaysia.
From a humble beginning as a small bookshop selling general titles, MPH Bookstores has since progressed and grown to become one the leading bookstore chains in Malaysia.
MPH were the first book retailer to introduce a megastore concept in Malaysia with the opening of MPH Mid Valley in the year 2000, where shoppers were introduced to services and facilities such as self-search terminals, internet kiosks, reading lounges, a kids’ corner and a full-fledged customer service.
7. Lit Books
Lit Books is an independent store. Founded and managed by a husband and wife duo who are former journalists and ardent bibliophiles, Lit Books specialises in English literary titles. From collector’s editions of classics to modern and contemporary reads and of course, exciting new releases, Lit’s handpicked titles are sure to appeal to avid and casual readers alike.
The founders love that the word “Lit” has different connotations – it’s short for literature or literary, but more pointedly, the word speaks of being illumined or enlightened, much like how reading good books elucidates the world around us.
8. Junk Bookstore
Situated in the busy town centre, about 5 minutes walk from Central Market, an art and craft/antique/handicraft centre where tourists find it hard to miss and about 10 minutes walk from popular tourist area China Town (Petaling Street), a perfect place for bargaining when it comes to shopping.
The whole ambience of Junk Book Store looks like an old library well stocked with an impressive inventory of books, magazines, Marvel Comics and LP records. There is also a section of foreign languages books where backpackers can read and enjoy.
9. SMO Bookstores
SMO stands for Syarikat Muda Osman. It is a locally-owned bookstores catering to the Malay readers. What differs SMO bookstores from the others in the list is that religious books and scriptures meant for the mass are available in all their outlets.
They currently have 25 outlets in Kelantan, Terengganu and Selangor.
Recap of The Top Bookstores in Malaysia
- Tsutaya Books
- Monalisa Bookstore
- Book Xcess
- Lit Books
- Junk Book Store
- SMO Bookstores