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Best secondhand and rental bookstores in KL

Score a literary gem or two at these top secondhand and rental bookstores in town

Written by
Time Out KL editors
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Do you prefer your books to have a bit of character? Roll up your sleeves and score a literary gem or two at these top secondhand and rental bookstores in KL. 

  • Shopping
  • Charity shops
  • Petaling Jaya
Jumble Station is a community outreach initiative by the NGO Parents Without Borders to help raise funds for single parents. There’s a small corner in the shop that sells secondhand books which were donated by the public. Get three books for RM10, two for RM8 and one for RM5.
  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Petaling Street
Located on the ground floor of Central Market is the creatively-named Kedai Buku, manned by Mr Velu and his younger brother. Open since 1986, the recession-friendly Kedai Buku is a tiny space stacked with secondhand and new books from floor to ceiling. The selection mostly comprises secondhand Mills & Boon, Danielle Steele, Dan Brown, travel guides and magazines, with the occasional interesting read (exchanged by tourists on a visit to Central Market) thrown in for good measure. Book rental services available.
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Junk Bookstore
  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Masjid Jamek
One of the longest-running secondhand bookshops in KL, Junk Bookstore is packed to the brim with literary gems, comics and LPs. It’s a given that you’ll spend a good few hours scrabbling through the shelves; the books, some of which are first edition or have gone out of print, are very loosely arranged by genre, and prices start from as cheap as RM3. Fun fact: The husband-and-wife owners once sold a book on Malayan history for RM8,000.
Book X-Change@Boardgame Depot
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bangsar
While secondhand bookstores have reluctantly surrendered their spaces to cafés, the owner of Book X-Change has managed to stay afloat for 20 years – now sharing the same premises as her son’s venture, Boardgame Depot. Lose yourself in a labyrinth of Stephen Kings, Tolkiens, Grishams, The Archie’s and more – rent them from only RM6, or make them yours at a discounted rate of the original price.
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Buku Terpakai
  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Puchong
With an offbeat location and no signage, keep an eye out for a store with a half-opened shutter; take a peek and you’ll see rows of shelves. Buku Terpakai is a bit like a bundle store for books – also a bit of a nightmare for the obsessive-compulsive as the books aren’t really divided into sections. But with a bit of effort, you’ll find gems here. On our visit it was James Joyce’s ‘Dubliner’ whose margins were full of footnotes on almost every page (fun fact: the store owner sources the books from old bookstores and university libraries). Besides books you’ll also find old stamps, Super 8 film reels, cassettes and old magazines.
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