Sunday, August 25, 2019

5 Independent Bookstores in Jakarta

Spectr News Theme Isny Dewi R.
20, February 2019

Bored with books commonly found in regular bookstores? If you are a book fan, it's good to stop by at independent bookstore. According to, independent bookstore is a small bookstore that usually originate from communities or individuals who love books very much.

At independent bookstore, you will find many good books that are not published by well-known publishers. Although there are not many, but in Jakarta there are several independent bookstores that you should visit to spend your weekend. Here they are!

1. POST Bookshop
Located on Santa Market’s upper floor, POST has a nice design that will indulging your eyes. With minimalist interior and soothing jazz music, you will enjoying your reading time here.

This independent bookstore that has been around since 2014 sells selected books with limited stock. All books are the curation result of three owners, Teddy, Maesy, and their friend Nissa. These books come from independent publishers and are not sold in regular bookstores.

In addition to independent books from within the country, POST Bookshop also sells imported books. Owner often hunt for imported books. As for domestic books, owners usually already know indie publishers who are happy to tell about their latest books. Interestingly, POST also sells used books where the proceeds will be used to treat wild cats that live around Santa Market.

Photo Source: @post_santa 

POST Bookshop
Instagram: @post_santa
Address: Upper Floor Pasar Santa, Jl. Cisanggiri II No.6, Kby. Baru, South Jakarta
Opening hours: Fri – Sun: 15.00 – 20.00 WIB

2. Aksara Store
In July 2018, the Aksara Kemang book store was reopened with a new concept. Aksara is no longer a regular bookstore, but returns to its 'original' as an alternative choice to present English and Indonesian books with literary and fiction genre categories. The books are not general books, but well-curated books by the Kemang Literature team and help from POST Bookshop.

Aksara is now not just a bookstore for learning. but also has other functions as a community center. In the same building you can find Ganara Art Studio which occupies 50% of the building, Kinosaurus Jakarta, Ruang Seduh, ABCD Coffee School, Lab Rana Jakarta, Samson Vinyl Music, etc. No longer gloomy and boring bookstore.

Aksara Store
Instagram: @aksarakemang
Address: Jl. Kemang Raya No.8B, Bangka, Mampang Prpt., South Jakarta
Phone Number: 021 7199288
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10.00 – 21.00, Sat & Sun: 10.00 – 22.00 WIB

3. Transit Bookstore
Again at Santa Market, Transit Bookstore is a newcomer independent bookstore. Occupying a small room, Transit just launched its soft opening in December 2018. Unlike its neighbor, the POST Bookshop, Transit only focuses on foreign literary books.

Photo Source: @transitsanta

On the left side of the shop, there is a paper world map with various titles of books on display, indicating the country or the setting of the book. Transit only provides one copy of the book for each title they curate, so it takes extra effort to get it. Transit also always updating their curation theme every three months. One of the themes that has been raised is Displacement, which explores the stories of immigrants, diasporas, and asylum seekers.

Transit Bookstore
Instagram: @transitsanta
Address: Lantai Atas Pasar Santa, Jl. Cisanggiri II No.6, Kby. Baru, South Jakarta
Opening hours: Sat & Sun: 14.00 – 21.00 WIB

4. Gerai Salihara
This bookshop is located at the same complex with theater building, exhibition hall and Salihara office. Yes, this place is managed by Komunitas Salihara which is famous as an art and cultural community.

This independent bookstore also sells other items such as DVDs, tumblers, t-shirts, and handicrafts. Mostly they sell literary works by Indonesian writers, cultural essays, and memoirs, as well as several other rare books which are certainly hard to find at regular bookstores.

Gerai Salihara
Instagram: @gerai_salihara
Address: Jl. Salihara No.16, Ps. Minggu, South Jakarta
Phone Number: 0877 7591 3878
Opening hours: Tue – Sun: 12.00 – 20.00 WIB

5. Seumpama Books
Seumpama Books is an independent publisher and online bookstore that grew out of a project between two friends. Browse through to find treasured Penguin Classic paperbacks with titles by H.G. Wells and Aldous Huxley amongst others. Although it is an online-based bookstore, but if you keep your eyes on their social media as Seumpama Books also hosts some events to spoiling book lovers.

Photo Source: @seumpamabooks

Seumpama Books
Instagram: @seumpamabooks

Isny Dewi R.
Isny Dewi R.