The Ganesha Bookshop in Ubud is famous, but I hadn’t heard of the Periplus Bookshop. Wandering along aimlessly on my second day (or was it the third day? Life seems to be ticking along at a different pace for me in Ubud) I stumbled across this bookshop at just the right moment. The heat was starting to get to me and the refreshing air-conditioning hit me as soon as I walked in.
It’s a large, clean bookshop with all of the books wrapped in plastic to keep them from damage in the humid climate. I won’t lie, I love to look through books before buying, but it was good to see they are being looked after, even if I couldn’t flick through and read the first few pages.
The entrance is inviting with large colourful books about Balinese art and architecture. Nothing I’d be able to fit in my backpack unfortunately.
In this area you can also find lots of (mostly English) magazines for expats and travellers, maps, children’s picture books and reference books about travel and language.
As well as the obvious (Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love), some interesting titles stood out, such as A Taste for Green Tangerines (a book about a busy London girl who swaps cocktails for bug spray in Borneo), Balilicious: The Bali Diaries, Love and Death in Bali, Fragrant Rice and A House in Bali (which I have back the UK, but didn’t get a chance to read before I left).
I would have liked to buy Fragrant Rice, but it cost 280,000 IDR which at about £12 was a little over my budget traveller price range.
But don’t worry, further into the shop there were some cheaper options. Books in the fiction section were generally between about £4 – £10. I saw a lovely little pocket sized edition of Jefferey Eugenide’s The Virgin Suicides and Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins which I was very tempted by.
Towards the back of the shop there was a superbly colourful children’s section with lots of choice and an area for non-fiction and biographies.
Like many bookshops, Periplus sells more than just books. Most notably, I saw a lot of Lego packages.
And oddly quite a few sewing patterns. Do expats in Bali particularly like sewing?
I didn’t buy anything but enjoyed a good long peruse of the shelves. It was a relief to be out of the sweltering heat, and a huge bonus that I was looking at gorgeous books!
I was in the Periplus Bookshop on Jalan Raya, but there is also a smaller branch on Monkey Forest Road. Visit their website for more information.