How to purchase English books in Thailand

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If you are staying long term in Thailand on visa, you may want to get access to your favourite books that are in the English language. Popular bookstore chains such as B2S, SE-ED and Naiin caters for books, including international bestsellers that are translated in the Thai language. So you would not be able to understand these books.

Large B2S book outlets may have a section dedicated to English books but most of the time the choice is very limited. You may find staples such as “Who Moved My Cheese” or “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, or trending bestsellers as per below:

However if you are looking for specific titles, you would need to search out bookstores in Thailand that sells English books. Two such bookstores that I know are Asia Books and Kinokuniya. I have visited Asia Books few times when I was in Survanabhumi and Don Muang airports (yep, bookstores are my favourite place to spend time when I am in shopping complex or in airport).

I discovered that we can actually get various English books when I was trying to purchase books by one of my favourite author, Dr Gabor Mate.

Dr Gabor Mate is a physician and bestselling author from Canada who writes on relationship between stress, childhood trauma and emotions towards addictions and illness. I already have his book, “When the Body Says No” and wanted to purchase some of his other books such as In the Realm of Hungry Ghost (about addiction) and Scattered (about ADHD). For more than 10 years, I have researched into mind body connection to illness (which I have another blog on this) and when I found his videos it was like vow!

Because mind body relationship towards illness is not a popular concept in Asia, you literally cannot find his books. If you are searching for your favourite books which are not currently in the New York Times bestseller list and is not an evergreen book, you may meet with a similar dilemma.

Both Asia Books and Kinokuniya have online stores where you can search out the titles of the book you want based on the author name, book title or ISBN. For example in Asia Book’s website, I was able to find Dr Gabor Mate’s book being listed:

The book is available and I plan to make a purchase online soon.

Through a search to Kinokuniya Thailand’s website, I am able to find more titles available under this author:

The book is listed as out of stock but similar to the time when I tried to get another of his book from Malaysia, the bookstore would order for me. The waiting time would be about 2 or 3 weeks which is fine because understandably the book would have to be shipped from overseas.

Some may say why not go paperless and buy the Kindle or an ebook. For me, I prefer the actual physical book compared to an ebook. I can highlight important information (yes I know you can do that with ebook reader as well but ya know, it is NOT the same). We can gain structured knowledge through reading a book. For example, Dr Gabor Mate has lots of videos available online via YouTube where he delivers his talks and message. The videos are insightful but if you read his books, it is packed with a tonne of systematic arranged information.

I hope the above information helps especially if you are like me, trying to source for your favourite books online. I understand you can also visit the physical stores (Asia Books and Kinokuniya) and order through them. If there are books you really wish to get, try both of these stores online to see if you can find them or contact their customer service to check if they could assist with ordering the book. The price is definitely cheaper compared to buying from Amazon and have the book shipped to Thailand (the shipping fee and insurance combined would have cost a bomb!).

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