Taking Refuge in a Vietnamese Bookshop Cafe
“The world is a book and those who do
not travel read only a page,”
– Saint Augustine
I wasn’t a huge fan of Hanoi during my time in Vietnam. It is the second largest city in Vietnam but it felt like the busiest to me. At all hours of the day, Hanoi was loud, busy and crammed with people. The reason I went there was to go to Halong Bay, but we did end up spending a fair amount of days in the city itself, mostly wandering throughout the busy streets. By the time the last day rolled around I was certain I had hearing loss from the cosntant, high-pitched honks of the vehicles. One day, my friend and I decided that we needed to find somewhere quiet and peaceful in the city. In our hostel was a small pamphlet for a bookshop cafe called Bookworm. As soon as I saw it I got way too excited than a person should get about books. But I used to think that one day I would open up my own bookshop cafe that sold champagne at brunch. I love books, I love cafes, and I love when the two are combined. So of course I had to go check it out.
On the map, Bookworm looked like it was on the other side of the city completely, but it was only a short taxi ride away before we found ourselves in a cute hideaway in Hanoi. Located in the Hanoi Cooking Centre Complex, the Bookworm is a small place. The bookshop is run by a young Vietnamese man and is home to hundreds of second hand books, all being sold at a very reasonable price. Stepping out of the bookshop is a cute outdoor cafe where you can relax with a refreshing drink or meal, with lots of bright flowers and umbrellas for shade.
As a huge book lover, I really enjoyed the short time that we relaxed at the Bookworm. I could spend half my paychecks on books if I wanted to. Unfortunately, a backpack only allows so much room, so I left that day with two new books to read during my travels. I have only been to one other bookshop cafe in my lifetime but I definitely think I am going to make a habit of it. Especially on a cold winter’s day in Canada, some warm tea in a bookshop cafe, ahh…