Now that the end of summer is nearing us and the rain clouds are slowly blowing in, its about time we all stock up on a few hearty reads to see us through those wet evenings when leaving the house is off the table. Here are seven of Chiang Mai’s best bookshops, offering romantic fiction to political history and everything else in between.
The branch near Tha Pae Gate is just one of many for Gecko Books, a quiet setting with layers of books climbing all the way to the ceiling in the maze of bookshelves. With staff to help and sections clearly labelled, it’s easy to find what you want, or stumble across something new. Try your luck with the tempting sixty-baht books out front.
2/6 Chang Moi Kao Road
Suitably located directly off the hustle and bustle of Tha Pae Gate, Backstreet Books has two open, airy floors for multiple reading interests. The bottom floor has a well-presented series of the great fiction reads, while the upstairs has sections dedicated to texts on individual countries and specific topics. A clean, current and convenient establishment.
2/8 Chang Moi Kao Road
The Booksmith, with their first bookshop in Bangkok, has now opened its doors to more northern patrons here in Chiang Mai. Including gifts, stationary and a combination of both English and Thai works, the small, refined shop has both fiction literature and pieces geared more towards home decoration, graphic design and architecture.
11 Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 3
On the Road
This intimate used bookstore showcases a wide array of classics, recent fiction and scattered nonfiction. Their half-off return policy and diverse selection of literature aligns logically with the majority of their audience as backpackers and tourists. Friendly and well-priced, On The Road should be your first stop in the search of a new read for those lazy poolside days!
38/1 Ratwitthi Road
Walking in, the crowded first room has twelve layers of books on each shelf and signs daintily state that there are “800 more novels upstairs!” Full of fiction, literary criticism, historical and dynamic religious prose, Shaman Books, packed to the ceiling with texts, is not one for the serious reader to miss out on.
Kotchasan Soi 1
This book shop has several endearing characteristics, including not only a plethora of literature but a coffee shop and several hosted talks, making it a breath of intellectual and philosophical fresh air. Balancing a nice English section with updated Asian political and social pieces, enjoying the environment and what it has to offer makes for a great afternoon experience.
34/12 Moo 5 Irrigation Canal Road
Images of authors litter areas of the walls not already taken up by shelves packed full of books in the colourful Lost Books on Ratchamankha Road. With several nooks and crannies offering oldies, modern pieces, a stack of animated posters and a stand for great deals out front, the engaging attendants will help you find whatever literature your heart is craving for!
34/3 Ratchamankha Road