Old style bookshop emerged from under-the radar
Burma’s reading culture
The Burmese are passionate readers. Look at people sitting in teashops, waiting at bus stops, standing in line at ferry terminals - almost invariably they will have their head in a book. The place-to-go is Bagan Book House on 37th street established in 1977 by U Ba Kyi, an avid reader himself. For years the shop was the under-the-radar nerve centre of the city’s intellectual life, these days it has books by Aung San Suu Kyi on the shelves.
Piles of books
Stacked floor to ceiling with cracking shelves and wobbly piles of books the shop is worth a visit. U Htay Aung, who took over Bagan Book House from his father is happy to offer advice and show his collection of first editions and rare books on Myanmar. Wander in and you will find Aung engaged in animated discussions. Perhaps a bit mouldy but a true treasure trove for any book lover or collector.
Thai princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn came to visit Bagan Book House in 2003.