20 bookstores in Indonesia that offer delivery services
As great as binge-watching awesome movies and TV shows, or listening to music or podcasts can be, it always feels good to go back to the timeless pleasure of reading a book. But book shopping can be tough during a pandemic because you probably don’t want to hang around at a store for too long.
Luckily, there are lots of brick-and-mortar and Instagram bookstores in Indonesia that you can turn to browse through physical and electronic books on a wide range of topics. We’ve put together a list of 20 bookstores in Indonesia that offer carefully curated new and preloved books.
All of these bookstores in Indonesia provide online ordering and delivery services in Indonesia. Please note that delivery services and payment options may vary.
Major bookstores in Indonesia
1. Gramedia – Indonesia’s largest bookstore chain
Image adapted from: Gramedia
Gramedia is Indonesia’s most popular bookstore, with over 100 physical outlets all over the country. It releases a wide variety of books by local writers, and also carries bestselling imported books in the English language.
Quarantined book-lovers who can’t make a beeline for its physical outlets any more can get free delivery up to Rp. 15,000 (~USD1) for a minimum order of Rp.200,000 (~USD13.53). The online store’s offerings include such as popular fiction, literature, non-fiction, magazines, children’s books, and widely read Japanese manga such as Detective Conan which have been translated into Indonesian.
Image credit: @arezkinapramesti
There are also titles that are available to print on demand – so no worries about these books going out of stock even if they are usually hard to find. For info on the latest promos, follow @gramediapromo on Instagram.
Payment methods include bank transfers, e-banking, credit card, Gopay, and Google Play.
2. Gunung Agung – one of Indonesia’s oldest bookstore chains offering books, stationery, and puzzles
Image adapted from: Gunung Agung Official Shop
Gunung Agung is another pioneer in Indonesian bookstore chains with around 30 branches. It has also jumped on the online shopping bandwagon to reach more readers across Indonesia.
Through Gunung Agung’s Shopee page, you can order books on a variety of topics ranging from Indonesian and international literature, art, and linguistics. It also brags a sizable collection of national exam prep materials that can be helpful for school students.
Image credit: Toko Gunung Agung
In addition to books, you can also buy stationery, puzzles, and FUNKO Pop! figurines.
You can make payments via bank transfers, e-banking, credit card, by instalments on Kredivo, as well as at Indomaret and Alfamart outlets near you.
3. Periplus – imported books ranging from general fiction to recipe books and travelogs
Image adapted from: Periplus
Periplus is the place to go if you’re looking for books in the English language. Since it has over 40 stores located in shopping malls and airports across Indonesia, you’ve probably seen it before. The advantage of going on the website is that it lets you order titles that may be out of stock at your nearest outlet.
Image credit: @periplus.sale
You can check out the latest international bestselling novels, YA fiction, and fun children’s books. Magazine collectors can also stay up to date as they stock up on the latest issues of magazines on entertainment, lifestyle, technology, and pop culture.
Visual art enthusiasts can also delight in the art, design, and architecture books in their catalog. Other topics of interest include cooking, fitness, travel, history, language education, and business.
You can pay using bank transfers, e-banking, and credit card.
4. Books & Beyond – imported physical and electronic books, and board games for the entire family
Image adapted from: Books & Beyond
If you prefer to read on your gadgets, or don’t want to wait for your book order to arrive, you can also purchase e-books – mostly in epub format – through the Books & Beyond website. Whether you’re reading for leisure, or studying for a language proficiency test, you can choose from a range of titles that are available electronically.
Image credit: Gotomalls
Books & Beyond is known for its selection of imported English books. Apart from fiction and non-fiction bestsellers, there are also many books for children – ranging from picture books to educational materials and flashcards.
Books aren’t the only items on offer at Books & Beyond, as they also offer board games such as Pictionary and Scrabble that are perfect to enjoy with the family or flatmates while spending more time at home.
Available payment methods are bank transfers, e-banking, and credit cards. In addition to its online store, it also has over 30 branches in Indonesian cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, and Bali.
5. Kinokuniya Indonesia – where to get books in English and Japanese
Image adapted from: Kinokuniya Indonesia
Kinokuniya is a bookstore chain from Japan that’s branched out into many parts of the world, including Indonesia. It’s loved for its graphic novel and comic book collection, and diehard fans of manga can even get the original Japanese editions. Additionally, lifestyle magazines in Japanese are available for those who like to make arts & crafts, or have an affinity for modern Japanese-style interior design.
Image credit: @kinokuniya_id
On the website, you can order English books by international writers. Genres include general fiction, literature, history, sociology, and psychology. There are also international examination prep books for TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GRE, and the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).
You can pay through bank transfers, e-banking, and credit card. Of course, Kinokuniya also has a physical presence in the form of its Plaza Senayan and Grand Indonesia outlets in Jakarta.
6. Opentrolley – the widest selection of imported books in Indonesia
Image adapted from: Opentrolley
Opentrolley is an online bookstore that specializes in imported books, offering options such as translated literature, books on music or art, or critical texts in various editions. Orders can take up to 10 days to arrive but are worth the wait especially for books you can’t find in local bookstores in Indonesia.
You can also pre-order books, which will be shipped on the release date. It should be noted that rare books that are marked as “special orders” cannot be combined with other purchases, so you’ll have to pay for them separately.
Opentrolley accepts payments via bank transfers, e-banking, credit card, and Gopay.
Indie bookstores in Indonesia
7. POST Bookshop – a literary indie darling that has built a community of writers and readers
POST in January 2020
Image adapted from: @post_santa
POST Bookshop is a well-known indie bookstore that’s located on the second floor of Pasar Santa, a community market in South Jakarta. The shop’s carefully selected books, available for delivery, include novels, poetry and essay collections, and critical theory by Indonesian writers.
It also sells books under POST Press – its own small publisher that aims to put a spotlight on local writers – which includes titles such as we are nowhere and it’s wow by Mikael Johani and Na Willa by Reda Gaudiamo.
POST Press releases
Image credit: @post_santa
In addition to offering books released by local independent publishers, POST also curates books by international writers – some of which they procured during their pre-pandemic travels.
The 6-year-old physical store that’s hosted many events since it first opened its doors to the public is currently closed, but it accepts online orders through Instagram DM or e-mail, and accepts payments via bank transfers. You can go on Instagram to see what books are currently on offer.
8. Transit Bookstore – introducing literature from around the world
Transit Bookstore in 2019
Image credit: @transitsanta
Transit Bookstore, which is also located on the second floor of Jakarta’s Pasar Santa, has taken it upon themselves to introduce titles from the world over to Indonesian readers. They often introduce new collections by themes – recent ones being “Know your neighbors” and “Inqueery” – so that readers can have an idea of the context that gave birth to the books on offer.
Image credit: @transitsanta
There is only one copy for each title, so be sure to follow them on Instagram to call dibs on your desired book.
To order, send them a DM with the title of the book you want. They will then reply with the total amount you need to pay. Payments can be made via the Jenius app or bank transfers.
9. Kineruku – Bandung-based library that also sells books and records
Kineruku in 2018
Image credit: @kineruku
Based in Bandung, Kineruku is a chill library where readers can drown in books for hours over a cup of coffee and snacks. It also has its own store – also available online – where you can buy translated and locally published books, as well as records by Indonesian independent musicians. Unique t-shirts, tote bags, notebooks, stickers, and pins that make for perfect gifts or collectibles are also available.
Notebooks available at Kineruku
Image credit: @kineruku
To know what books are currently available to purchase, follow their Instagram page or visit their website. You’re free to make orders via Instagram DM, e-mail, or directly from the webstore.
Image credit: @kineruku
You can pay for your orders of books, records, or merch via bank transfer.
10. Elevation Books – for music fans who are also avid readers
Image credit: @slametsazly
Founded in 2012, Elevate Records exclusively focused on physical releases such as CDs and vinyl records for local independent musicians. Four years later, they started Elevation Books to expand to publishing books about music to further cater to fans who want to dig deeper into the cultural context and legacies of their favorite musicians.
Their most recent release, This Album Could Be Your Life: 50 Album Musik Indonesia Terbaik 1955-2015, aims to offer a historical and critical perspective on Indonesian popular recordings over the span of 60 years.
To purchase books or records, you can go straight to their webstore. Check out new release updates on Elevation’s Instagram page.
11. Mimamsa – preloved books in good condition delivered from Bandung
Mimamsa is a Bandung-based literary house specializing in translations of Indian literature that also sells preloved books in English and Indonesian. It focuses its collection on works of literature, and books on literary and critical theory by figures such as Terry Eagleton and Edward Said.
No book goes to waste at Mimamsa as the preloved books here – often vintage editions – are generally in good condition. Each photo uploaded on Instagram comes with comments detailing the title, condition (e.g. mint, good, or sealed), and price.
To place an order, simply send an Instagram DM with a link to the book you want and they will reply with the total amount. Mimamsa accepts payments through bank transfer.
12. Slimbooks – used and new imported books ranging from poetry to literary fiction
Image adapted from: @slimbooksid
Those who love poetry and literary fiction may want to follow Slimbooks on Instagram as they offer new and preloved books in English by writers such as Anne Sexton, Rimbaud, and Roberto Bolaño.
Check the highlights for books that are still available, as there is only one copy for most titles. Slimbooks posts video clips of them flipping open their books so that you can see more than just the pretty book covers as you’re browsing through their Instagram page.
To order, simply send a link of the poetry collection or novel you’re keen on via DM, and they’ll send it over to you from South Jakarta a day after your payment has been confirmed.
Slimbooks accepts payment through bank transfer and OVO.
13. Jajansastra – Solo-based online bookstore offering new and secondhand books in English
Image credit: @jajansastra
Jajansastra is an online bookstore based in Solo. Their selection ranges from non-fiction to graphic novels such as Marjane Satrapi’s bestselling Persepolis to the novels of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.
Whether or not the book pictured has been sold is indicated in the description, so be sure to double-check before ordering. If you’re interested in any of the books available on Jajansastra’s Instagram page – including their books on sale featured in their Instastory highlights – all you need to do is leave a comment and wait for a response. First come, first served.
Make your payment via bank transfer once the store has logged in your order.
14. There But For The Books – dedicated to women in literature, with updates every Monday
Image credit: @therebutforthebooks
Run by Bali-based book cover designer Ndari (Sukutangan), There But For The Books is dedicated to the literary works of women from around the world.
You can find novels, short story and poetry collections, as well as non-fiction books at this shop – especially useful for Bali residents looking for a more comprehensive collection of women’s works than what you can get in mainstream brick-and-mortar bookstores in Indonesia.
The Instagram page is updated every Monday, and all inquiries and orders are done via DM. Books are sent out every Wednesday, and if you happen to live in the Denpasar-Badung area, there is no delivery fee.
15. Buku Indie – highlighting independent writers and readers
Image adapted from: Buku Indie
Buku Indie, as the name suggests, champions the independent literary scene. It aims to give readers who want a taste of locally produced literature ranging from novels to poetry collections that aren’t available in mainstream bookstores in Indonesia, or that are written by upcoming new writers. For example, here, you can find novels by Ruhaeni Intan and Robby Julianda, and the poems of Kezia Alaia.
It has its own website, but you can also browse for books on Tokopedia, Shopee, or even place your order through WhatsApp. Categories include poetry, novels, and novellas, as well as literary non-fiction.
To get your hands on the newest releases, you can check titles that are available for pre-order on any of the above platforms used by Buku Indie.
16. Jualan Buku Sastra – Yogyakarta shop providing monthly catalogs
Jualan Buku Sastra’s August 2020 catalog
Image credit: Jualan Buku Sastra
Jualan Buku Sastra (JBS) is based in Yogyakarta and has a pretty straightforward way of selling its books. Go to their website to go through their monthly catalog, and send a text or Whatsapp message to 081802717528, or send an email to [email protected].
Students in the area looking for indie reads are in luck – the books available at the shop here vary widely and many are from local independent publishers. Genres include literature, art, biographies, and many more.
17. Maple Bookstore – local and translated literature and non-fiction
Image adapted from: @tokobukumaple
Based in Magelang, Maple Bookstore has a wide-ranging selection of translated and locally published books. There are a number of books in English as well.
Whether you’re into novels or socio-political theory, you’re bound to find something that piques your interest. You can find the works of Umberto Eco and James Joyce translated into Indonesian.
To browse through their catalog, go to their Shopee page where there are regular sales, and you can easily add the books you like to your cart. You can also follow them on Instagram to be notified of regular sales or about the latest additions to their collection.
18. Intensif Books – Surabaya store with books by Indonesian writers and works in translation
Image credit: @intensifbooks
Like Maple Bookstore, Intensif Books in Surabaya also offers curated books by Indonesian authors as well as works in translation. These occasionally come in book bundles, such as curated bundles of celebrated late Indonesian journalist Mochtar Lubis’ works, or of Ernest Hemingway’s books The Snows of Kilimanjaro and A Farewell To Arms translated into Indonesian.
If you follow their Instagram page, you can check out upcoming releases by local independent publishers that can be pre-ordered at a special price. For example, Dari Dalam Kubur by academic and activist Soe Tjen Marching is currently available for pre-order at a discount of Rp. 33,000, priced at Rp. 105,000 (~USD7.11) for August 2020 only.
19. Seumpama – beautiful and moving storybooks for children
Image credit: @seumpamabooks
Compared to many other bookstores in Indonesia, Seumpama Books puts children’s literature first as it specializes in storybooks that will fuel the imagination of young minds.
The books are beautifully illustrated, which makes the stories about adventurous children and cute animals all the more captivating for all ages. They can be great parents looking for education stories for their children who have to learn from home.
20. Marjin Kiri – book bundles on social politics, cultural criticism, philosophy, and more
Image credit: @marjinkiri
Marjin Kiri is one of Indonesia’s independent publishers that’s perfect for those interested in books on political economy, ecology, gender politics, and philosophy – just to name a few.
You can follow its Instagram account to check out the latest releases as well as info on giveaways or discounts. It also has a list of official resellers in the highlights if you prefer to purchase books from a store in your city.
If you decide to buy books directly from Marjin Kiri’s website, you can get special promo packages consisting of two or three books surrounding the same theme. For example, there are bundles named “Indonesian history package” and “World history package.” These bundles can come in handy for those who are keen on learning about certain topics, but don’t know where to start.
20 bookstores in Indonesia
Book lovers should definitely keep tabs on the bookstores in Indonesia listed above that offer online orders and delivery, so that you won’t run out on interesting and entertaining titles to put on your to-read list. Since we’re staying inside a lot these days, it’s time to curl up with the books you’ve always been meaning to get to.
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Disclosure: Dwiputri P. has spoken at POST Bookshop events in her individual capacity as a poet and writer.