If you are like us, your travel experience is incomplete without an in-depth understanding of the culture of the locale you are travelling to. And to do so, you need books to read and have intellectual discussions with people. So, to start off your travel experience, we have compiled a list of Top 5 bookstores in Kathmandu Valley for your intellectually enriched travel experience with books, book clubs, souvenirs and much more.
Pilgrims Book House:
Perhaps Nepal’s fastest-growing bookstore chain, Pilgrims Book House was established in 1984 with shelves full of books squeezed into a single room. Fast forward to 2022, and now they have outlets in two of the busiest streets in the Valley—Jhamsikhel and Thamel—and that too with three storeys of books and related stuff.
Of all its competitors in Thamel, Pilgrims has arguably the largest complex and the most extensive collection of souvenirs, including clothes, perfumes, oil, jewellery, pillow covers, dreamcatchers, postcards, decorations, and so much more.
Pilgrims’ massive collection of books ranges from topics regarding spirituality to eastern philosophy to self-help, and the list goes on and on. If in case you find yourself lost between the shelves, the owners of the store, who have been looking after the bookstore for decades, will help you find just the book you need!
Wisdom Books and Aroma Shop:
Unlike your usual book shops, Wisdom does more than sell books or souvenirs—it hosts workshops, events, book releases, and most importantly, strives to create a homely environment for book lovers.
Vipin Audichya, the owner of Wisdom Books and Aroma Shop, in a conversation with Nepal Traveller, said, “There are many bookshops in Nepal, and all of them sell books—and some even souvenirs—but we want to create a home-like culture of bookshops and give a platform to local writers.”
“I got this idea from one of my visits to Delhi where the 3rd generation of the same family was running bookstores and had a deeper connection with their customers than just a buyer-seller relation,” Audichya added.
Wisdom has international and local books in the genre of your choice, but what makes the place more special is its ambience—classical music playing in the background while you peruse through books and magazines with the fragrant aroma coming out of the scented oils and candles.
Educational Book House:
Educational Book House is a one-stop solution for the book of your choice.
With a wide assortment of books on commerce, religion, philosophy, economics, sociology, anthropology, history and much much more, Education Book House has the most diverse collection of books you can find in this city.
If (on the off chance that) they do not have the book you might be searching for, they will even import it for you.
To know about Quixote’s Cove, you either have to be part of Kathmandu’s niche literary society or go searching for the place voluntarily.
In the truest sense of the word, Quixote’s Cove is unorthodox. It is located at a secluded corner of a small street in Jawalakhel and is frankly very minimalistic inside, but the speciality about this place is not the books it has or its ambience—it is the book clubs, the workshops, the discussions.
Unlike most of the bookstores in the Valley, Quixote’s Cove is lively, with tables full of energetic youngsters discussing their favourite (or least favourite) books. According to one of the employees, the book shop is run by a couple who got its inspiration from Bombay’s bookstores which were more than mere shelves of books but had wooden tables sprightly with jovial readers discussing and socialising.
Patan Book Shop
If you’re a bibliophile who has to start reading a book the second you’ve bought it, then Patan BookShop is the right place. Located at the entrance of Patandhoka and adjoining the Dhokaima Cafe, Patan BookShop is a bookshop cafe with friendly owners and books on various genres.
What makes Patan Book Shop unique and different from your conventional bookshops is the fact that you can sit inside the bookstore complex and read books and magazines while sipping a cup of Dhokaima coffee and savouring their mouth-watering brownies and cheesecakes.