The past year has seen trendy cafes popping up in various neighbourhoods. Some offer exotic beans from places such as Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea and Jamaica; some use various artisanal brewing techniques, such as a cold drip, pour-overs, French presses and siphons; some come with scrumptious homemade delicacies. Everyone is trying their best to stand out from the intensive competition in the local café scene. Setting up book café is one of the clever strategy – here are some good recommendations for those who love to read over a cup of cuppa, tea, or some light snacks.
1) Departure Lounge
Departure Lounge offers awesome menu, warm service from a team of award-winning barista and a welcoming ambience. Apart from chit-chatting with a group of friends over coffee, it also offer a wide range of travel books for your reading pleasure.
Monday – Sunday: 8:00am – 10:00pm
10 Jalan SS 21/39 Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
2) Cafe de Eight
Located in Ipoh old town area, Cafe De Eight comes with a nice ambience, friendly service and good coffee. The shop is discreet with a tiny sign and hidden among the wholesale stores on the main street. You might easily miss it! There are a lot of books available on the shelf, with a mixture of romance, thriller and history, available for your reading pleasure.
Monday – Wednesday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday – Sunday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm
No 8, Jalan Koo Chong Kong, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
3) Jing-Si Books & Café
If you prefer reading over Chinese tea instead of coffee, Jing-Si Books & Café is a good alternative if you are in need of some spiritual calm in an oasis of tranquillity. Founded in 2004 as part of the Malaysian Tzu Chi foundation, it claimed this is “a place for Spiritual Rejuvenation Essence of Books Aroma of Tea Spiritual Enlightenment”. Their books are on subjects such as health, education and religion with majority are in Chinese.
Various locations in the country and operating hours can be found here.
4) Books Café
Located in Penang, Books Café offer a cosy and quiet place for students to do their revision or chill out with friends. The books on the shelves are segregated according to education levels, such as SJK (C), UPSR, SPM and etc. If you find revision books boring, there are also books on other subjects available for your reading pleasure.
Monday – Friday: 12:00pm – 10.30pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 10.30pm
54, Jalan Hamilton, 11600, Pulau Pinang.
5) Moontree House
Established in April 2010, Moontree House a feminism bookstore and handmade ‘zakka’ store. They do not only serve homemade cakes and cookies, it also brew aroma coffees. With its strategic location in China Town, Moontree has attracted numerous coffee lovers, artists and intellectuals because of its relax and cosy ambiance. The books available are mainly Chinese-language publications on gender studies.
Monday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
No.6, 1st Floor, Jalan Panggong, 50000 Kuala Lumpur.
6) Insomnia Café
Situated in one of the Johor Bahru’s luxury residential neighbourhoods, Country Garden, Insomnia not only is a good pit-stop for those who are on a food trail around the area, it is also perfect for those who just want to curl up with a book. There are plenty of books lining the wall shelves, you are free to grab one and read away over a cup of hot cuppa.
Monday – Sunday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
7 & 8, Country Garden, Danga Bay, Jln Skudai, 81300 Johor Bahru.
7) The Woods
The Woods Second Hand Bookstore and Café is a hidden gem that camouflages itself into many rundown workshops lots along Jalan Gajah Berang, Malacca. It attracts mainly local visitors for their delicious light snacks, hand brews or other non-caffeine beverages while spending some quiet time over books. The café filled with racks decked in wood for books that gives the visitors numerous options to pick their favourite books. We can also tell that the owner has put in a lot of efforts to decorate the café with a very close-to-nature feel.
Monday – Tuesday: 11:00am – 8:00pm
Thursday – Saturday: 11:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
35 Jalan Gajah Berang, 75200 Melaka.