Don’t you remember the distinct, musty scent of an old book, the single lightbulb flickering over your head as you sit hunched over the same novel you haven’t been able to put down for nearly 40 minutes, and the quiet aisles that allow you the hear the eager page-flipping of a young reader through the towering bookshelves? Bookstores have always been a tried and true way to get lost in the moment. What’s a more sentimental gift to give than a good page-turner this Christmas? Check out these Big Island bookstores for the perfect, hard-to-put-down novel to give to the bookworm in your family.
74-5487 Kaiwi St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 | (808) 326-7790
Located in the heart of downtown Kona, Kona Bay Books is one Big Island bookstore that provides the unforgettable feeling of flipping through novels for hours in search of the perfect read. This book lover’s paradise may be the largest warehouse packed with your favorite classics and even the newest hardcopies on the market, all available to order online.
78-6831 Alii Dr #142, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 | (808) 324-0350
With over 10,000 books to choose from, Kona Stories Bookstore in the Keauhou Shopping Center is stocked with the latest and greatest in nearly any genre, including Hawaiiana and children’s books with an amazing selection of cards. Don’t feel like browsing in person? There’s an option to order online for in-store pick-up. If that isn’t enough to draw you in, they even have a few fluffy feline greeters to welcome you at the front door!
65-1279 Kawaihae Rd #103, Waimea, HI 96743 | (808) 885-0562
This dual book and bead store offers up a little more variety when it comes to giving gifts to the crafty person on your list. Sweet Wind specializes in the genres of spirituality, religion, and alternative thought in addition to their wide selection of crystals, jewelry, beading supplies, and more. Timeless and charming, stepping foot into this Waimea gem is a treat in and of itself.
14 Waianuenue Ave, Hilo, HI 96720 | (808) 315-5335
If you’re shopping on a budget this year, what better way to up your book-giving game than to trade in your used books for something new? Big Island BookBuyers carries everything from Hawaiiana literature, children’s books, and other noteworthy second-hand pieces. From floor to ceiling (literally) Big Island BookBuyers has just the find you’re looking for.
235 Waianuenue Ave, Hilo, HI 96720 | (808) 756-2919
Books, records, and poetry—oh my! This vintage, hole-in-the-wall shop is so retro, they don’t even have a website. Here, you’ll find stacks of classic records and your favorite books at a fraction of the normal price. Step back in time and give the gift of nostalgia this holiday season.
1672 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo, HI 96720 | (808) 961-0144
This larger than life, unique find in the heart of Hilo incorporates dazzling book displays, one-of-a-kind gifts from Hawai’i, and tons of Hawaiiana culture titles—you name it, Basically Books has it. A trip to this Big Island bookstore isn’t complete without spotting their many signature, colorful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling!
829-A Leilani St, Hilo, HI 96720 | (808) 498-4464
Formerly known as Hilo Bay Books, this little book nook is the cutest stop for all things second-hand when it comes to books, CDs, and DVDs. Modern updates and charming corners to sit and flip through the latest romance make for the ultimate book shopping experience this holiday season.
344 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, HI 96720 | (808) 491-8591
This eclectic Hilo store is known for its—you guessed it—books, candles, wind chimes, and other-realm trinkets. Stop in for a unique and thoughtful gift for that mystical person in your life.