The two quaint bookstores along Jalan Tun H S Lee

If you find yourself near Jalan Tun H S Lee with some time to spare, why not check out these two quaint bookstores just a short walk away from each other?


We’ve all been to the Kinokuniyas and Tsutayas of Kuala Lumpur, but sometimes we want to visit bookstores that offer a different experience. Perhaps you want something more intimate and curated, or you enjoy searching dusty shelves for books long since gone out of print. BASKL visited two bookshops that are both located on Jalan Tun H S Lee, Riwayat Bookstore and Junk Bookstore.

Riwayat Bookstore

Riwayat Bookstore features a selection of curated books on a range of subjects, with a sizeable section of books on Malaysian topics, or fiction written by Malaysian authors. If you’re looking for a book on the Malay music of yesteryear, or a colonial anthropological account of 18th century Malaya, Riwayat may have the books for you. Of course, that’s not all they sell, offering many fiction and non-fiction books. For instance, this writer purchased a book on how repeated exposure to art can affect the brain, changing it in profound ways, and was also tempted by a book covering the history of libraries. Riwayat Bookstore also regularly plays host to events like discussions with authors and thinkers. This store also happens to sit next to several picturesque cafes, perfect for a post-tea stroll with a friend.

Junk Bookstore

In contrast to the neat and cosy Riwayat Bookstore, Junk Bookstore is a sprawling hive of books. One of the biggest second-hand bookstores in the nation, narrow shelves are stuffed full of old books, many of which are long out of print. Old magazines from decades ago, books detailing the Malayan Emergency, comic books featuring obscure characters, a hundred different manuals and textbooks on law, gardening, fly fishing, you name it. There is even a second floor, just as narrow and practically overflowing with books. If you had the patience, you could spend hours here scrutinising the towers of titles. This is a great place to spend some time if you have niche interests, or are just really interested in the Malaysia of yesteryear.

For more information, you can check out Riwayat Bookstore’s website and Instagram page, and Junk Bookstore’s Facebook page.

To read more BASKL, click on the links below:



Sign in

Send Message

My favorites