Where to Go: Local Independent Bookstores on Bustling Cities

Written By
Adinda Mauradiva

Edited By
Fazrah LR Heryanda

Have you ever felt sentimental looking back at the old days and realizing everything swiftly changing? From listening to music on a Walkman to streaming a curated playlist on Spotify, exchanging greetings through postcards to messaging on social media, and hugging heavy-printed books to casually bringing slim e-book readers. The latter makes you wonder how books are an endangered species.

But, surprisingly, with the decline of book sales at the conventional bookstores, the local independent bookstores are appearing like a mushroom, serve a greater purpose than just selling books. It allows you to ask for similar books that you would want to read next time, connect with other people, and have a great time discovering more interests. The existence of local bookstores bring new excitement, and here is what some people say about the local independent bookstores they frequently visit and come to love.


(Photo Source : @post_santa)

Alif RA

“I guess what I like from POST Bookshop is how you can ask about certain books to the sellers because they read all the books they were about to sell first. That’s why you can consult to them what books should you read, and why.”

POST Bookshop, known with POST Santa, is located on the upper floor of Santa Market at Jl. Cipaku, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. Santa is supposed to be a traditional market, but only for its basement.

“Santa is a perfect example that traditional markets are evolving. The basement is still very much a traditional market, but when you go upstairs, it is becoming a space for new generations to sell and share their very own innovations,” commented Alif, an anthropology student in Universitas Airlangga about the rarity that an independent bookstore is inside a traditional market, except for the newly-borne Transit.

Back then, he was looking for an adventure book one time, and POST’s sellers suggested Raden Mandasia Si Pencuri Daging Sapi by Yusi Avianto Pareanom—a book that they love—and it turned out to be very good. The price was at a standard price, compared to the books that could be found online, but when the sellers brought them themselves from Europe, Singapore, etc., were added service prices. “It is understandable,” Alif admitted.



(Photo Source : @c2olibrary)

Jelita Anjani

"I became fond to this library"

It is always good to have local bookstore and Surabaya already marked its name with C2O Library & Collabtive. What makes it exciting, a lot is going on in C2O. An Undisputed Poetry open mic, Kultursinema movie screening, a feminist movement talk show, and the selling of delicious cookies.

Jelita, who goes by the nickname Lintang, is a devoted fan. An outside party borrowed C2O’s space to sell vegan, gluten-free cookies for Rp10.000,- and Lintang exclaimed, “It’s a godsend.” But for the more-or-so right reasons, Lintang is also fond of stopping by C2O at Dr. Cipto no. 22 because the atmosphere is pretty quiet and comfortable to do assignments or read peacefully. As it is called a library to store any rare books—on the front of the left side of the building, Lintang seldom buys books even though they are sold and displayed, still sealed, right after the main entrance with independent-produced album CDs. On the other side of the library, though, there are a couple of chairs facing opposite sides with a table between them, suitable for people to sit and have a chat. On the inside, there lies space for events to be attended, such as a workshop, one that Lintang will come to when the opportunity arises and if it did catch her attention.



(Photo Source’s : @kineruku)

Carent Natasha

"Reserved for read and study only and I enjoy it"

Carent is an avid coffee shop-goers, and she isn’t much of a book-reader, but when she became a regular customer at Kineruku, she came to know a lot of books reference, too. “The first time I bought something from Kineruku is for my assignment material, Revolusi Indie Label by Jube. And then, Dee’s Rectoverso. After that, a lot of my purchases went to album CDs, kinds of souvenirs like notebooks or stickers,” said Carent. Other than that, she usually borrowed some of the books using a card for about two weeks. If it reaches ten times loan, Kineruku will give you one time of free borrowing.

Aside from the placing of Jl. Hegarmanah no. 52 that is on the plateau side of Bandung—making the scene cozy with cold airs and lovely to be there for a long time when it’s not too crowded—what Carent likes from Kineruku is that place resembles a home with homey food, snacks, drinks, and including coffee with milk. The downside is maybe it’s strictly prohibited to take pictures on the site for the place is reserved only to read and study but hey isn’t it great to focus on things that you want to do? Therefore, Carent enjoys going there to hang out, read, and listen to the cook slicing onions.


After you know about what they said; what they love, and the reason why they choose those local independent bookstores, anyone around you could have the same feeling about it, and it doesn’t rule out the possibility that the next person could also be you, the one person reading this. Pay a visit to the books you’re going to unexpectedly love for another five years, or that you’ve already loved before, and the people within it—just step your feet in it, and in there you go.