Places - 09/28/17

Downtown Moments at Dasa Bookstore

Written by Candice W

Amongst the bustle of Bangkok sits a rustic bookstore wedged between two buildings. Dasa Bookstore was opened in 2004 where the store sells and exchanges all types of second-hand books. With over 18,000 books in total, the shop is a perfect place to let your mind wander.

In a world full of fast-paced conversations, rushed meetings, and ten-minute lunches, it is imperative that we slow down and take a break once in awhile. Known for its high English classics and racy European gems, Dasa Book Cafe houses a great deal of second-hand literature for your heart’s content. With only a few second-hand English bookstores in Bangkok, Dasa Book Cafe unequivocally appears at the top for its well-maintained and looked after books, despite them being second-hand.

Within the three-storey rustic building located on the main Sukhumvit Road, in-between the Asoke and Thonglor BTS line, there are currently over 18,000 both fiction and nonfiction books residing in the store. From the exterior of the bookshop, Dasa does not differentiate itself too much from its neighbouring buildings on the same block. Most of the furniture inside is wood derived – wooden shelves, wooden floorboards, chairs, and tables. The walls inside bear bright colours with a hint of orange, exhibiting a warm and comfortable atmosphere.

Inside the store, it is unmistakable that there is a sense of coalition between traditional western culture and traditional Thai culture gathered in one place. It is difficult not to show a notion of appreciation. Hundreds of books stack upon each other like Jenga blocks on the bookcases with the popular ones in baskets for easier access. Stationed on metal racks by the door are a bundle of promotional books. From a bird’s eye view, the bookstore might look something like a maze due to its narrow pathways and sharp corners.

Dasa initially started through the collaboration of two book lovers, Donald Gilliland and Kaweewut Wuttiwipoo. It all began after Don decided to settle down in Thailand after years of travelling around the world. With prior experience in second-hand bookstores in the USA, Don decided it would be a good opportunity to open one in Bangkok, Thailand. Along with Kaweewut, whose speciality is in business administration and the arts, they began sharing their interests in literature, old classics, and business ventures. Eventually, both Don and Kaweewut established Dasa Book Cafe in 2004, where the store has been selling, exchanging, and purchasing second-hand books ever since.

On the ground floor holds the more contemporary and lifestyle orientated books with the likes of general fiction, travel, art, and cookbooks. The second-floor houses mainly novels of all sorts – thriller, tragedies, and westerns. Above all this, stacks upon stacks of English and European literature classics are held on the third and final floor.

Dasa Book Cafe may not appear to be much from the outside, however, it is astonishing what a narrow and meagre store in manic Bangkok can hold. With such a large inventory, it is impossible to not find something that peaks your attention.

Address:
714/4 Sukhumvit Road (between Soi 26-28)
Klongton, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110

Edited by Hayden L

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