As a book lover I am lucky to be living in Lahore, a hub for Literature and cultural festivals, frequent and random book fairs. The city is peppered with all types of book stores carrying a variety of reading materials catering to readers of all ages and taste. With numerous book stores and fairs I am convinced that one may find any book in Lahore if the quest is earnest. I am especially fond of old bookshops as they are giving the keen reader a chance to avail price breaks.
As an avid reader I gain immense pleasure from walking into a bookstore and finding just what I am looking for or discovering a hidden gems by skimming through the entire collection. I frequently visit those which are easily accessible to stop over when passing by:
Book stores in Gulberg Lahore
Variety near Liberty Market on Noor Jahan Road
It is prominently located on the main road and hard to miss. It spans a 4 levels stacked with textbooks and magazines on lower and ground floor, general books on mezzanine floor, arranged nicely in categories from new arrivals to marked down and all in alphabetical order. So any book can be easily located if you know the author or category. They also have a digital catalogue at the store to be sure if the book exists within the inventory.
Prices for new arrivals are on the higher side which may tempt you to wait to find it elsewhere.
Books and Beans
Books and Beans in Gulberg’s opposite the Ramada Hotel seems very glamorous and charming in pictures and television reports. It has mostly publications by Vangaurd but not the titles I look for. Prices are in the same range as any other upscale bookstore.
Readings has two great locations; Gulberg’s main Boulevard and DHA. They have a large selection but none of those I would be looking for. Even then I keep going there for the convenience of location and its pleasant atmosphere. And they offer banks promoted discounts on certain cards up to Rs. 1000 or 2000 on total bill.
Mr. Books and Books n Books
Mr. Books and Books n Books in Gulberg’s Main and Mini Market have a good selection at a reasonable price.
Book stores in Lahore Cantt
Two locations I am aware of are Mall of Lahore and Packages Mall. Liberty Books has a great selection at high price tags. And bank promotion of discounts rarely on the cards I carry. They have sales and special fairs on the books nobody may want but never on hot selling titles or those you want. The books are well organized and a digital catalogue is also available.
Book stores in DHA Lahore
The Last Word
The Last Word in Z block is located underground and hardly visible to a passing by shopper. But it attracts people through social media publicity and hosting discussion forums and book launches. The Last Word have offered a platform for coming together to meet an author on book launch or speak freely on controversial issue. has a great collection of best sellers and classics.
Old Book Shops in H Block
Behind the alley with all the sports shops in H Block are several basements carrying old books. These shops are great for finding rare titles at good prices and trading in books you dont want to keep.
Lahore based Book Stores with Multiple Locations
Feroze Sons is an old name and has multiple locations across Lahore; DHA H Block, Y Block, Gulberg etc. The selection however is very limited in English books and on high selling titles only. Urdu books are usually available in large selection. Prices are usually on higher side.
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press has multiple locations of bookstores. Their books are very interesting from historical perspective and analysis. But all books only cover the official state narrative in history about evens and biographical accounts of legendary personalities.
Urdu bazaar has numerous stores but you have to know where to find the books you are looking for.
Which is the best website to buy books in Pakistan?
The best and latest experience has been with the The Link online store which is accessible on 24/7 basis. I simply WhatsApp the title of the book and within minutes I get a response if they have the book with a discount price. The price is usually less than 50% of what I would pay at other stores. They also deliver it for a fixed charge by courier or sometimes a rider on the same day. And if I have a concern with quality of print, they send a snap shot of a page or two before confirming the order.
Lahore has numerous bookstores of various scale and inventory of reading materials combined with text books in some stores. Almost every store would have a collection of international and Victorian classics. Some stores are better organized with books arranged according to categories and some have a catalogue to facilitate the search. And some owner/staff keeps a mental record of the inventory and will pick out the book from a stack. And some stores are bound to carry a huge selection but none of what you are searching.