Among Bangkok’s bibliophiles Dasa Book Café is something of a priceless treasure. Opened in 2004, it is home to over 17,000 secondhand books sorted by genre, alphabetized by author and neatly shelved in an air-conditioned splendor.
The bookshop is located on Sukhumvit Road between sois 26 and 28 and opens daily from 10am-8pm. It sells primarily quality foreign language used books, mostly in English, French, and German. Many of the paper-back books are priced at less than a hundred Baht. The store has a comprehensive layout with sections covering fiction, history, biography, art, Thai/Asian culture, travel, and children’s literature. There are also a handful of new titles from month to month. A completed list of their books can be downloaded at Dasa’s official website. Incidentally, the name ‘Dasa’ derives from a Pali word for slave, the implication being that book lovers are ‘slaves’ to books and cannot live without reading.
Donald Gilliland and Kaweewut Wuttiwipoo, the store owners, established the bookshop as a space for true book lovers, somewhere they could browse shelve at leisure and enjoy a good read in a cozy atmosphere. Secondhand books are gathered from markets around Bangkok and also neighbouring countries such as Laos and Cambodia. Dasa also buys books from customers and gives store credit for trade-ins.
In addition to myriad low-cost books, Dasa also offers patrons a comfy coffee shop area where drinks and home-baked goodies are available, and while you browse for the books, you will hear light tunes floating in the air. In fact searching for titles has become even easier now that the store has developed a proper computer database. Technological leaps and bounds also make it possible to place online orders for titles and arrange home delivery thereof.
This definitely one of Bangkok’s lesser-known jewels, a calm and inviting space where the scent of old books mingles with the irresistible rich scent of roasted coffee beans.
Dasa Book Café
714/4 Sukhumvit Road (between sois 26-28) | 0 2661 2993 | dasabookcafe.com | Daily 10am-8pm