Swindon Book Co. have announced that they’ll be closing their Tsim Sha Tsui store indefinitely for renovations. It is currently unclear when and even if the store will reopen. It’s another potentially tragic loss for the city’s bookworms, as the company is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most dependable booksellers, having been in business since 1918 and occupying their iconic two-floor store on Lock Road for over 50 years.
Swindon Book Company is the primary textbook supplier for a countless number of schools and universities around Hong Kong. But outside of textbooks, they also focus on English-language books and carry a lovely selection of stationery and cards. Swindon stock books and magazines of all types – lifestyle, art, reference, fiction, non-fiction – you name it, Swindon had it. And if they didn’t have the title that you were after, the friendly staff were more than happy to place an order for you. It wasn’t as flashy or as fancy as many of its contemporaries, but the fluorescent lights and tiled floors were part of the appeal. It was a utilitarian no-frills experience that placed books front and centre. Despite its low-profile decor, it stood out from its neighbours, exuding a classic charm thanks to its stone facade and large storefront display.
Swindon Book Company will shift its focus to online retail website swindonbooks.com. However, it’s not all bad news, as their associate stores Hong Kong Book Center and Kelly & Walsh will continue to operate as usual. Starting August 1, textbook orders that were placed via Swindon can be picked up from the Swindon Book Company office in Anson House, which is just above the soon-to-be-closed bookstore. Ethan Lam