Best book shops in Ubud. Image showing inside a cafe

Discovering the Best Book Shops in Ubud

Known for its lush landscapes, vibrant arts scene, and spiritual essence, Ubud is also a paradise for book lovers. If you’re one of these people that always need a book to get through, Ubud is the place to be. Here, I’ll take you on a journey through some of the best book shops in Ubud and share a few tips on finding books in unexpected places.

The Best Book Shops in Ubud

1. Ganesha Book Shop

Best book shops in Ubud. Ganesha Book Shop in Ubud, Bali

Ganesha Book Shop is a beloved institution in Ubud, I’m obsessed with this place too! With its extensive collection of new and second-hand books, you can find everything from novels and non-fiction to guidebooks and children’s literature. The shop has a cosy, welcoming atmosphere that invites you to spend hours browsing through its shelves. If you want to read fiction or non fiction books about Bali, they have a wide range of options to choose from. I love picking thrillers based in Bali for example. Here you can also find some cute notepads for yourself or as a gift for someone.

2. Periplus Ubud

Best book shops in Ubud. The inside of a book shop in Bali. Showing a table full of books.

Located on Jalan Hanoman, Periplus is a well-known chain of book stores in Indonesia, and the Ubud branch does not disappoint. Actually, there are quite a few in Ubud, but I will refer to the main one. It offers a wide range of books in various genres, including a good selection of titles on Balinese culture, history, and art. Periplus also has a selection of international magazines and travel guides.

3. Bali Buda

While primarily known for its organic café and health food store, Bali Buda also has a delightful selection of books. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a healthy meal while diving into a new read. Their collection focuses on wellness, spirituality, and eco-friendly living.

4. Neko Cafe Ubud

Neko Cafe is not just for cat lovers; it’s also a haven for book lovers. This charming café doubles as a bookshop, offering a curated selection of novels and non-fiction books. Enjoy a cup of coffee, the company of cats, and a good book in this unique setting.

5. Pondok Pekak Library & Learning Center

This hidden gem is more than just a book shop. Pondok Pekak offers a community library with a wide range of books available for borrowing and purchasing. They also host various cultural workshops and language classes, making it a great place to immerse yourself in local culture while picking up a new read.

Books at Hotels and Accommodations

Best book shops in Ubud. Books on a shelving in a Hotel in Bali.

Many hotels and guesthouses in Ubud have their own little libraries or book exchanges. These are great spots to find a book to read during your stay. Some places even encourage guests to leave a book behind and take a new one, fostering a community of sharing and reading. Check with your accommodation to see if they offer this wonderful amenity. I would recommend leaving your book by your accommodation after reading it, so that you can travel light on your way back home.

Cafes That Sell Books in Ubud

Female solo traveller showing a book on the beach.

Ubud’s café culture is vibrant, and many cafes double as book shops or have a selection of books available. Here are a few worth checking out:

  • KAFE Ubud: Known for its healthy menu, KAFE also has a small selection of books focusing on wellness and travel.
  • Clear Café: A visually stunning café that offers a selection of books on spirituality, health, and Bali.
  • Little Talks Ubud: This charming café offers a relaxed atmosphere with a curated selection of books. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy a cup of coffee while diving into a new read.
  • Ary’s Book Cafe: A perfect blend of a café and a book store, Ary’s offers a cosy ambience with a great selection of books. Enjoy a coffee while exploring a variety of genres.

Why You Should Choose Physical Books Over Digital Ones

Solo traveller reading a book by the beach in Bali

When planning your reading material for a trip to Ubud, physical books are a better choice than digital ones for several reasons:

  • Exposure to Elements: Digital devices can be damaged by water, heat, and sand, making them less ideal for beach or poolside reading. A physical book can withstand a splash of water and won’t overheat or suffer from sand getting into its components.
  • Battery Life: Physical books don’t require charging, so you never have to worry about your reading being interrupted by a dead battery. You can read for as long as you like, whenever you like.
  • Used Books: In Ubud, you can find a variety of second-hand book shops where you can purchase used books. This not only saves money but also supports sustainable reading practices. Plus, used books often come with a sense of history and character that new books or digital copies lack.
  • Tactile Experience: The feel of a book in your hands, the texture of the pages, and the scent of the paper create a multi-sensory experience that e-books can’t replicate.
  • Eye Comfort: Reading from a screen for extended periods can cause eye strain. Physical books are easier on the eyes, especially in natural light.

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When it comes to books, Ubud has a lot to offer. From the extensive collections at Ganesha Bookshop and Periplus to the unique offerings at cafes like Neko Cafe and Bali Buda, Ubud offers a rich and diverse literary landscape.

Choosing physical books for your travels in Ubud not only enhances your reading experience but also supports local businesses and sustainable practices. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, relaxing on the beach, or sipping coffee in a cosy café, a physical book is your perfect companion.

Ciao for now,

Silvia x