I am no stranger to indie books. In fact, some of my best reading experiences was from reading independently published books. There is just something magical about holding an indie book in your hands—taking in all that is is, and realizing that the author did everything they could to bring this book into existence.
Of course, the same can be said about traditionally published books, but I cannot deny the quaint charm of indie books, especially since most of indie titles are elusive, limited, or even exclusive.
I had talked about my newfound love in Books Actually from my writing retreat post several months ago. And at that time, I had clearly thought going abroad would be the only chance of me ever discovering an indie bookstore, with the ample amount of branches a certain Indonesian major bookstore has. Imagine how delightful it was when I learned how wrong I was!
POST Bookshop is located in Pasar Santa, Jakarta Selatan.
Now I know what you’re going to say: I’m super late into the game. And who am I to deny that? The fact stands that this bookstore has slipped under my radar since its first inception in 2014.
And what did I do when I first discovered it? I visited the store, of course.
POST Bookshop is a small indie bookshop in Pasar Santa—a hip traditional market in Southern Jakarta. The market itself looks unassuming, with a generic green paint decorating its walls. The first floor was saturated with various shops, from those who sell fresh produce right to those who sell watches and clocks.
In the second/upper floor, though, you would find a lot of smaller stalls selling what I call “jajanan kekinian”, an Indonesian way of saying “modern and hip food”. This ranges from the ever-so-popular iced coffee, salted egg rice bowl, liquid nitrogen ice cream, etc. The upper floor also houses small workshops, art studios, and shops that I’m not even sure what are they selling. Basically it’s an artsy mismatch everywhere, with a lot of the sellers being what I call a stereotypical Indonesian hipster artists.
In one corner of the upper floor, however, also perches this small corner named “POST Bookshop”.
I’ve heard that the owners of this bookshop exclusively sells local independent books from lesser known publishers originating from outside Jakarta. There was also a small trolley in front of the shop with dozens of pre-loved books stacked inside—both local and international titles. Another interesting thing is that the owners often travel to other countries and purchase several copies of books that interest them and resell them in this indie bookshop.
They didn’t stop there, though, as I’ve learned that they have independently published their own line of books. Those titles sat neatly on one of the corner shelves when I visited the shop. I’ve also noticed that they started selling their own personalized tote bags, which I totally adore. (I mean, look at the design!)
This little visit to POST Bookshop was one of the highlights of the year so far. Little did I know would I find an independent bookstore in Indonesia.
(I’m sure there are a lot others, but please forgive my negligence in noticing what should attract me the most).
I even bought myself a book, which looks super interesting:
I would very much like to visit more independent bookshops in Indonesia, given the chance. Should you guys know a place, please kindly recommend them to me in the comments below. I’m also interested in visiting bookshops abroad, so keep those recommendations coming!
All in all, this visit had been so worth it, I even planned to visit the bookshop again sometime in the near future. There is no greater joy than discovering a bookish place, purchasing a good book, and cherishing the experience of hand-picking books from piles of randomized titles, as opposed to just browsing the best seller sections of a major bookstore.
Address: Jl. Cisanggiri II No.6, RT.5/RW.4, Petogogan, Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12170
Hours: Opens 3AM – 8PM (Sat & Sun)
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