A true bookworm knows: seeking out and purchasing the perfect book is part of the whole experience. The journey begins the moment you open the door of your favorite bookstore and immediately get a whiff of freshly printed books. It’s an escape from the world there — and you embrace it wholeheartedly. It’s no different in Hanoi, where a bookstore offers refuge from the city’s hustle and bustle.
If you’re seeking this kind of experience, we’ve curated a list of bookstores in the Vietnamese capital city Hanoi where thousands of foreign-language books — fiction, self-help, literature, educational, and more — are waiting to be read.
The Bookworm Ha Noi
A self-proclaimed bookworm, Hoang Van Truong, owner of The Bookworm, has dedicated his time and effort to build this place into one of the largest foreign-language bookstores in Vietnam, with more than 30,000 titles. Nestled in a small alley on Chau Long street, The Bookworm has become one of the favorite spots for local and foreign book lovers.
Get lost in a wide selection of used and newly published works from all sorts of literature while enjoying a decent cup of coffee. The shop owner also has a great collection of well-preserved vintage books on Vietnamese culture and history. The Bookworm hosts events to introduce new titles and connect book lovers for a monthly “book exchange” event, with performances by local musicians and artists.
Find The Bookworm at 44 Pham Hong Thai, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Gac Xep Bookstore
Gac Xep, which literally means “an attic,” is inspired by a small attic on Lo Duc Street – the first shelter for the shop owner's books. Aside from the new and used books readily available in the store, Gac Xep also receives orders on demand, whether CD, photobook or artbook. Initially operating as an online bookstore, Gac Xep now has a physical store for you to visit. If you don’t have time to browse, just list out the titles you need and send the request on their Facebook page. The store will pack and send them to you.
Find Gac Xep Bookstore at unit 302, 23C Tong Dan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Mary Book (Góc của Mary)
Mary Book is popular among young Vietnamese who love to find pieces of themselves in books. It offers a wide range of titles across all categories and genres, from arts, history to philosophy and religions, for readers to immerse into.
Despite not having a storefront, Mary Book has its own way of impressing its readers. The owners’ good taste in reading materials and meticulousness in packing and delivering each book order would bring you a fascinating experience. Mary Book wishes to sow the seed of inspiration for studying and reading everywhere.
Visit Mary Book at T18 Times City 458 Minh Khai, Hanoi
The Bookshelf Hanoi
If you get lost in the sea of options, The Bookshelf would be a great help for you. Their concise and informative book reviews on the Facebook fan page will walk you slowly through every title until you find the right one for you. Besides classic literature, The Bookstore Hanoi also offers a variety of books on business, self-help, and psychology for all ages. The price is very affordable. You can order in advance or request them to look for the books you need.
Visit The Bookshelf Hanoi at 8 Nguyen Che Nghia Str., Hang Bai Ward, Hoan Kiem Dist., Hanoi
Librairie Française de Hanoi
If you are interested in foreign-language books, especially French literature, Librairie Française de Hanoi has exactly what you are looking for. With more than 3000 titles across all categories of literature, science, arts, research, and children's stories in French, Italian, Spanish, and German, it’s hard not to take one home.
French is not easy to learn, but their book covers are very eye-catching. This could be an option if you want to add new books to your mini library.
Visit Librairie Française de Hanoi at 6 Nui Truc, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Translated by Bich Tram