“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

We get it: sometimes being in the office or school gets really tiring after a while. And a lot of times, you just want to curl up in bed and open that dusty book you’ve been putting off just to escape from everything.

But we all know how that will go – you’ll put that book down and go to sleep, because often times fatigue gets the best of us and we’re left waking up to a new morning, to rush back to office/school. So maybe, on a lazy weekend, take a stroll to these amazingly covert yet comfy and peaceful hiding spots to read.

1. Kinokuniya, KLCC

Located on level 4 of Suria KLCC, this huge bookstore (34,300 sq ft huge) is a haven to many bookworms out there, as it provides a sort of shelter from all  KLCC’s retail  clamour. The two-storey bookstore is often swarmed by bibliophiles who are quick to find a good corner to read their books.

The cosy ambience flooded by natural light makes it impossible to just stop by. In fact, it is much easier to lose track of time walking through the endless rows of bookcases. It is almost like a tradition for loyal customers, to leisurely linger around and peruse through their desired book before purchasing.

With over 300,000 books, Kinokuniya curates international and local pieces, giving its patrons a wholesome choice, with a whole section for Japanese published books, children’s section, and arts and design section on the mezzanine level. The mezzanine level also houses a cafe, tucked away from plain sight, making it this a perfect hideout to read and relax.

Kinokuniya KLCC

Big, accessible, and wholesome, Kinokuniya is a bookstore of this generation. Photo © Kinokuniya Facebook

2. BookXcess, Cyberjaya

Located in Tamarind Square, Cyberjaya, the newly opened BookXcess boasts 37,000 square feet of space, thus becomes the largest bookstore in Malaysia. It is also the first local bookstore that opens 24 hours. For night owls, this bookstore might just make into your list as a midnight hotspot to hang out since also accommodates its patrons with a reading area, so you can have that peaceful ‘me-time’ without any disruption.

The oversized bookstore sports an industrial interior with monochromatic theme that is posh and attractive. To make matters worst (read: awesome), the books are usually sold at a discounted price. Don’t be surprised to find yourself with a handful of books becayse the promotions are irresistible! With patience, you might even bump into a blockbuster book at a marked down price.

BookXcess Cyberjaya

With 37,000 square feet of space, this huge bookstore is a maze of literary wonder. Photo © BookXcess FB

3. Little Giraffe Book Club, Cheras 

This privately run library would probably remind bookworms of Hansel and Gretel’s fairytale when they found themselves standing in awe in front of the witch’s cake house. This open-space and multifaceted library is like a breath of fresh air to adults and children as it is a wonderland. This library was originally a rundown house that was about to be demolished, if not for the effort by a few young architecture graduates in transforming it into the neighbourhood’s communal spot. Expect a lot of lounging around with specially curated books and strong, pleasant aroma of roasted coffee wafting in the air. The coffee shop is conveniently attached to the library and serves up popular Wan Rojak and specialty coffee.

4. Tun Uda Public Library, Shah Alam

For those searching for a more secluded venue to wind down, this library in a golf park boasts 21st century’s advance and futuristic features such as 6D movie theatres and an indoor gym. Plus, it is mind-bogglingly huge. The open space interior – clad in contemporary and modern design – allows you to read, study or even relax luxuriously and comfortably.

The children are well entertained at their own space, where they can choose various activities to fill their time other than reading. The library also provides a Mac desktop area that charges you with a small fee for usage and high-speed internet. Wi-Fi is conveniently available throughout the whole vicinity.

The charms of the gigantic library, however, lies in the way patrons are spoiled with multiple reading areas designed to maximise comfort such as an outdoor, floating garden, cosy couches and wing chairs (the best) that are strategically aligned to the huge window panel facing the golf course for some serious book slogging.

Open:Mon-Fri: 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 9:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Tun Uda Library Shah Alam

Located in a golf course Tun Uda Public Library is reachable by cars.

5. Rumah Attap Library and Collective, Kuala Lumpur 

Aimed to reimagine space and education, this particular privately-owned library at Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur is one progressive centre for intellectuals. A brainchild of Amateur, In Between Cultura and Au Sow Yee Studio, this library is set to encourage the exchange of conversations on cultural studies, arts, literature, philosophy, and social sciences. With personally curated books, this multi-communal space also regularly holds talks, discussions, workshops, and forums for more elaborate coverage on knowledge. With light and airy interior, and quality reading materials, this distinctive library is the perfect spot for mutual-minded individuals to dish out their take on distinctive topics or to just sit back, and browse a good book.

6. JFKL Library, Kuala Lumpur

In an effort to promote multi-cultural exchange between Japan and Malaysia, the Japanese Foundation Kuala Lumpur (JFKL) has a little library of their own that is open to the public. If you are interested in Japanese culture and history, or if you simply love reading manga (Japanese comic), this particular library is an otaku’s haven.

The library provides a large variety of reading and reference material, so you can conveniently find what you need in a snap. Minimalistic interior with tatami mats and soft, neutral tone walls paired with featured, contrasting couches make a cosy space for uninterrupted reading.  JFKL also hosts events regularly, so for those who are interested, the experience can be rather wholesome. The library closes on Sunday and public holidays and operates from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays.

JFKL Library

With tatami mats and cushions, this library calls for Japanese culture enthusiast. Photo © jfkl.org.my

7. Lit Books, Petaling Jaya

For those who want to read, but do not know what materials they should get into, Lit Books is a great place to start. The cosy, bright bookstore is a mash between a living room and library. And it accommodates its patrons lavishly with a personally curated collection of literature fixes. This independent bookstore was started by a couple of bibliophilic journalists that aims to shed light on its patrons about the joy and enlightenment of a good book.

With a Nespresso bar and communal seating area, you are more than welcomed to lounge and delve into that freshly bought paperback without much distraction. The bookstore also holds regular talks and discussion on the books that are sold there. So you can definitely understand more and chip in your point of view to make the whole experience more comprehensive.

Good To Know: As much as it is a cluttered pain, Klang Valley is generally a haven for bookworms and introverts. Cafes such as TimeOut Tokyo in Isetan Japan, Lot 10; The Library Coffee Bar in One Utama; and  Merce & Muse in Subang Jaya promises you some quiet coffee time and reading break that is accessible. The trick is to always pay attention because although hip and posh cafes seem to be the trend right now, these literary hideouts are a bit out of plain sight. 

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