Colombo has an assortment of bookshops encompassing numerous genres to satisfy any bibliophile. We have listed the best places to explore various collections and titles to cater to the reader in you.
1. Vijitha Yapa
Starting off in 1991, Vijitha Yapa has a chain of bookshops across Sri Lanka. These bookshops have diverse range of books across different genres. For readers seeking a larger collection to browse, the Unity Plaza branch in Bampalapitiya, has a larger variety for book lovers to choose from.
2. Makeen Books
Situated on Galle Road, Colombo 3, Makeen Books is a well-lit, inviting bookstore. The store has an extensive collection of fantasy novels, non-fiction, comics, classic literature and plentiful supplies of children’s books to choose from.
Continuing on Galle Road, Barefoot is an aesthetically pleasing store. Their collection is rife with books written by local authors and Sri Lanka itself. They also feature books on travel, self help and various novels which are sure to catch your eye.
4. Rohan’s Bookstore
This hidden gem is located in Liberty Plaza. While small, the premises has books from multiple genres which can be hard to find elsewhere. One glance reveals piles of books waiting to be read. This is a must-see if you are looking to find something different.
5. Cargills Book City
This underrated bookshop is located in Majestic City, Bambalapitiya. For bibliophiles looking for publications by reputed authors and new releases, this is the place to visit. The store is a popular place to browse a diverse selection of young adult novels, non-fiction and a host of classic literature.
6. MD Gunasena
A household name in the emerald isle, MD Gunasena opened its doors in 1913. Ranging from novels and biographies to Sinhalese and Tamil publications, their branches are well stocked. A particular highlight is their concept bookstore in Bambalapitiya, with an inspiring interior ideal for browsing books.
7. Sarasavi – The Bookshop
Alongside MD Gunasena, Sarasavi Bookshop is synonymous with reading among Sri Lankans. New releases, biographies, textbooks, childrens/young adults and the occasional rare book will turn up if you are lucky. With 21 branches dotted across Sri Lanka, Sarasavi remains incredibly popular among readers.
A relatively new entrant, Chapters is situated in Colombo 04. This cozy bookstore is home to a small café which allows readers to browse their books in a relaxed environment. Fans of adult colouring books will be found here as Chapters has a wide range.
9. Lake House Bookshop
The story of Lake House Bookshop began in 1941 as a humble library, and over time evolved into a respectable bookstore. While its popularity is on the wane, readers still visit in the expectation that they will find a unique book.
10. Jeya Book Centre
Jeya Book Centre has branches in Colombo 3 and Colombo 11. Most of their books focus on Education, Science, Sports and Culture. Established in 1980, the bookstore continues to receive footfall to this day.
11. Expographic Books
With a seemingly limitless supply of books, from Architecture to Textiles and everything in between, Expographic Books has friendly and helpful staff who will help you out. A well maintained website ensures that potential customers can search for books easily before making their purchase.