It can be difficult to find a decent bookstore in Hanoi, particularly one that specializes in purely English books. But if you need to escape your electrical device and find something paper-based to read, like back in the old days, then the Bookworm Hanoi has you covered.
Hidden down a tiny alleyway in Ba Dinh, this smallish book shop punches above its weight, claiming to have over 20,000 titles, both new and used. Fact or fiction, highbrow or lowbrow, the Bookworm Hanoi has a little something for everyone regardless of if you are looking for a cheap spy thriller or Vietnamese modernist poetry.
For those looking to pick up a bargain here, books are not particularly cheap (though neither are they expensive).
The store is set over two floors in three rooms, the standout being the elegantly decorated room dedicated to books on Vietnam, which has a superb range of country-focused titles ranging from cookbooks and history right through to contemporary fiction and maps.
For those looking to pick up a bargain here, books are not particularly cheap (though neither are they expensive). The Bookworm Hanoi explains this by telling us that “staff are paid considerably higher than comparable local salary levels, and paid time and a half and double time rates for weekends, gazetted holidays and for overtime worked. Staff are awarded two weeks annual paid holidays plus an extra paid week during Tet.” Chào picked up a new copy of a contemporary Vietnamese novel for 280,000 VND, which we thought reasonable.
If you live in fear of your bookshelves getting out of control, Bookworm can even help out by offering to buy back any books you purchase from them, for a third of the price.
The icing on the cake is the beautiful courtyard immediately outside which serves up strong coffees and great Vietnamese meals courtesy of Hanoi Cooking Centre. Bookworm Hanoi provides a leisurely way to waste an idle morning, with owner Truong very knowledgeable on the contemporary literature scene, and always happy to help if you have any questions about what books to buy. Recommended.
44 Châu Long, Ba Đình
+84 (0) 91256 1800