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What Are the Best Independent Bookstores in Hawaii?

The best independent bookstores in Hawaii can be a great source for books about the islands, local culture, and local history…not to mention any other topic that might interest you.

Escaping into a good book is a time-honored activity enjoyed by all ages, and the beautiful beaches of Hawaii are some of the best places to enjoy a good read.

If you come to the island empty handed, there are plenty of places where you can pick up your next favorite book.

All of the following independent bookstores in Hawaii are interesting, local, and unique.

A visit to any one of these independent bookstores in Hawaii will give you plenty of fabulous options for your next great read:

Talk Story Books – Kauai

Hanapepe’s Talk Story Books has quite the reputation…

In addition to its 100% positive rating on TripAdvisor, it is the largest bookstore in Kauai, and the Western-most bookstore in the United States.

How can one store have so much going for it? Lots of books! Talk Story has a massive selection of new, used, and out-of-print books that fill their huge shelves; they have over 100,000 books in all.

To make it even better, they also offer Hawaiian LP and 45 vinyl records, sheet music, and ukulele lesson courses.

Next time you need a book in Kauai, look no further than Talk Story Books.

Revolution Books – Honolulu

As its name implies, this Honolulu-based store is for the politically-minded.

Driven by the work of Bob Akavian, Revolution Books believes in changing the world. They’ve got a wide selection of books on history and political theory, world geopolitics, and philosophy, in addition to novels and poetry to provoke thought and discussion.

More than just a bookstore, Revolution Books is the hub of a politically active community, and they hold weekly discussions, author readings, film screenings, and more. Any aspiring Marxists would do well to check out Revolution Books.

BookEnds – Oahu

This cozy shop in Kailua is the perfect place to cozy up with a good book.

The quaint atmosphere, with a maze of ceiling-high shelves and stacks of books on the floor, is conducive to relaxed wandering and meandering browsing.

Their shelves are literally overflowing with thousands of used and new books, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better all-around bookstore on Oahu.

Kona Bay Books/Hilo Bay Books – Big Island

Kona Bay Books is Hawaii’s biggest used bookstore, and maybe one of the biggest bookstores anywhere.

With over 2 miles of books, CDs, and DVDs, you’re bound to find something you like. Their motto is “Get Used!” and their business model allows for an extensive selection and attractive prices.

Kona Bay Books is located by the scenic Kona Bay, on the Big Island’s Western Shore. They also have a sister store, Hilo Bay Books, which is on the island’s East Coast, close to the Hilo International Airport.

Like its sister store, Hilo Bay Books offers a huge selection of used books

You can’t go wrong with either location.


These independent bookstores in Hawaii are some of the best places to get just the right book for that relaxing afternoon at the beach.

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