Don’t bother lugging your beach reads (or mountain/desert/city reads) to Thailand or anywhere else for that matter. There are plenty of amazing stores where you can find English language books in Bangkok. You may be thinking: Why would I bother with paper books on my vacation when I can bring hundreds of books in my e-reader? E-readers are wonderful, but, at the beach, when you have a paper book, you don’t have to worry about charging your electronics or accidentally having them submerged in water. Books recover. E-readers do not.
Books recover. E-readers do not.
Do research on bookstores in your holiday destination to see if there is a buy/sell/trade option so you can travel even lighter, leave even more technology behind, and enjoy your vacation experience.
If your book disappears from your hotel room or while you are in the water, you will be bummed, but you will get over it. If your e-reader disappears, it might ruin your sense of adventure for the rest of the trip. Nobody wants that to happen.
My favorite Bangkok bookstore is Dasa Secondhand Bookstore and Cafe. There are others stores on Khao San Road which have a good selection, but there is something about Dasa that speaks to me (it might be our 5 year history). You can take the BTS to Phrom Phong and walk a few blocks to the store. Get the directions from the website before you go! The bookstore is 3 floors, has a massive inventory, and a cafe.
When you walk into the store you are presented with the mild yet wonderful smell of older books. You’ll see some stools for sitting at the bar that looks out onto the street, some wooden tables and chairs for enjoying a cup of tea or coffee, and tons of books. From bestsellers to architecture, they have walls full of books. I like to browse and find something special, something that I may not have thought to read before seeing it in the store. In this way, on my last trip I found: The Glass Castle, The Twentieth Wife, Wild, Ali and Nino, The Road of Lost Innocence. These weren’t exactly beach reads, though, as I read them on the back of a motorcycle! If you are looking for something particular, Dasa publishes an updated inventory online three times a week (here). Once finished with the book, you can bring it back to the store to trade or resell.
I like to browse and find something special, something that I may not have thought to read before seeing it in the store.
I resold the books I read on the back of a motorcycle traveling down Thailand’s beautiful coastline. You can read about that road trip here: People Will Stare at You & How To Pack for a Motorcycle Trip in Thailand.
Could not put this book down, which is the great thing about 5 hour rides on the back of a bike! Beautifully written story of love, loss, resilience about remarkable children who, because of their parents’ inability to provide a stable environment, learned to take care of themselves and, eventually, overcame great obstacles to thrive and prosper. Walls does not wallow or show self-pity through the many ordeals the children overcome. Instead, the book becomes a testament to a person’s ability to forgive and love.
Loved the beginning. Loved the end. The middle was a bit hard to get through. Generally enjoyable as a beach read though I wasn’t moved by any of the main characters. I wanted to be attached to them, to care, but the focus of the book was not so much on them, but on history. The description of court life in the Mughal empire during the 17th century was fascinating.
Awesome. This book spoke to me (and millions of others) because Strayed understands that she has to get herself together and she does. No excuses. Painful, powerful, raw and brave. Now that I’ve done part of the Camino, I look forward to giving the Pacific Crest Trail a try.
Looking for something different like the fabulous Cooking with Poo, or other Thai or Asian cookbooks? Try Asia Books (follow the link to find the location closest to your hotel) or other fine books stores in malls around Bangkok.
I love Cooking with Poo and always buy copies for presents when I’m in Bangkok because every recipe I’ve cooked from that book has tasted really good. I love that Chef Poo discusses what ingredients you can substitute if you don’t live Thailand. If you are going to Thailand in the high tourist season, it might be hard to find Cooking with Poo at the stores! They sell out really quickly. Order ahead on-line with Asia books or, when you get to Bangkok, go to the bookstore and ask them to run a computer search for the branches that have a copy in stock and reserve it for you to pick up.
I love that Chef Poo discusses what ingredients you can substitute if you don’t live Thailand.
Shipping the cookbooks is easy and inexpensive. I knew I would buy the books at the Asia books near Nana so I google searched Thai post office locations the night before. I found the post office exactly where the post office Thailand map indicated. Upon entering, I gave an employee my books. He weighed them, filled out a form and gave me the packing materials. I paid him, packed my books and waited about 3 minutes before the next clerk was able to help me. I could choose to airmail or ship. I shipped two cookbooks internationally in about 15 minutes for less than 15 USD. A bright solution to luggage restrictions on your way home.