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Lok Man Rare Books

Special is hard to do in Hong Kong, where understatement can be confused with dullness. However, there are sometimes things you come upon which are undoubtedly special. You recognize them when you see them, and you savour them. Lok Man Rare Books is such a place.

This small antiquarian bookstore is nestled on a discrete lane right in Central of buzzy Hong Kong. You would have to know this place to walk here, or if you’re an art fan you may come across it on the way to some of the various small galleries tucked in this lane. Lok Man Rare Books is the one hiding behind the large canopy of tropical plants; a verandah in front for you to sit on while you peruse through a rare book off the shelves of this special place.

As I quietly browse through the books in this nook I see a well curated library of literature for all types of interests—children’s books, poetry, first runs of great fiction, antique books on travel, cars, business, coffee and wine, first accounts of discoveries and books about plants and fairies. You could easily leave your group to their chaotic shopping sprees and spend your entire afternoon here. Instead of taking home gifts of Stanley market bargains, go home with the gift of a rare book, beautifully wrapped.

As I look at these shelves lined with treasures, a man walks in to confirm my thoughts. “May I help you?” says Lorence the proprietor. “Oh I was here two years ago on my trip through Hong Kong and I’m back again,” comes the reply. Lok Man Rare Books is a place that should go in all of our black books, to be returned to frequently.

Mandy Chan moved from Canada to Hong Kong to found Ginsberg+Chan Wine Merchants Asia with her husband. Along with her ability to sniff out a finely aged wine, she also has a keen nose for finely aged books.

Instead of taking home gifts of Stanley market bargains, go home with the gift of a rare book.

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