So many Cantonese speakers outside of Hong Kong are looking for Traditional Chinese books for their children. Whilst there have been a few blogposts about where to buy Chinese books, many feature both simplified and Traditional Chinese, but mostly Simplified Chinese. With Traditional Chinese, many of the bookstores featured were Taiwan- based, and many bookstores, especially those Hong Kong based, did not make it to the list.
Here I compiled a comprehensive list, after researching through blogs (see below for other posts that recommend bookstores) as well as Facebook groups. This list now includes sites for group buy as well as buy sell swap sites) for you to choose from. I’ll be adding on more to this page as I go, but I wanted to put the main ones up first.
(Disclaimer: I have not bought from most of them, hence you would need to use your judgement and do further research. I would highly recommend you compare cost, including shipping cost, taxes, VAT, GST etc, as well as timing. ).
About Traditional Chinese books
Traditional Chinese books are usually from either Hong Kong or Taiwan. There is a slight difference between books from Taiwan and Hong Kong:
- certain Chinese characters used, but by and large, easily understood by Hong Kongers and Taiwanese.
- Romanisation – Many children’s books from Taiwan also feature zhuyin, which help kids read in Mandarin. Books from Hong Kong usually have no pronunciation guide, or if they do, it will be in pinyin for the reading in Mandarin. Children in Hong Kong learn to read in Cantonese with no romanisation, but they learn Mandarin with pinyin.
Most popular online bookstores in Asia that ship worldwide
These are the most popular bookstores in Asia that carry a wide range of Traditional Chinese books for adults and children, and ship worldwide.
From Hong Kong 香港
From Taiwan 台灣
United States 美國
Gloria’s bookstore – majority of books are from Taiwan, but there are also books from Hong Kong, some of which have Cantonese audio. You can also buy sagebooks and C-Pen. When I ordered something pre-COVID, they also offered the option of picking up from their warehouse.
采風書店 – Books for adults and kids, both Traditional and Simplified.
Yes Asia– in addition to carrying books, this place also has Hong Kong editions of DVDs, hence in Cantonese.
Yobaby – Traditional Chinese books from Taiwan. Please take note that the interactive books are unlikely to have Cantonese, as they are from Taiwan.
Used Chinese Books by Motherly Notes 中文 ，新，二手書 買賣區 – this second hand books buy sell swap Facebook group has over 4,000 members, and is rather active. Books and learning resources include both Simplified and Traditional Chinese, so pick carefully.
美國地區二手中英文書CD/DVD尋寶及割愛區 – this second hand books buy sell swap Facebook group has almost 2000 members. Books and learning resources include both English and Chinese.
Minute Bookstore – range of children’s books from Hong Kong publishers in Traditional Chinese, suitable for ages 0-5. They have a Cantonese reading scheme, where you can request Jyutping/Yale phonics to accompany your purchase of select Chinese readers.
港日在英店小二書齋 C9groceries – A new group buy by a HK mum
Used Chinese Children Books in UK – this second hand books buy sell swap Facebook group has over 800 members. Books and learning resources include both Simplified and Traditional Chinese, so pick carefully.
COCM 基督教書 Christian books for adults and kids, mainly Traditional.
Little Kozzi– started by two Hong Kong mums, there is specially curated selection for you to choose from.
Hong Kong 香港
Parent Shop– has interactive books including those with reading pens.
LOGOS Bookfinder – Christian books for kids and adults. Ships internationally.
小海馬書店 Little Seahorse Bookstore Melbourne Based group buy
Abbey’s Language Bookstore– Has a mixture Simplified or Traditional Chinese books. And lots of learning textbooks and resources
Books Kinokuniya– Has a mixture Simplified or Traditional Chinese books.
Other Blogposts on Buying Traditional Chinese books (external links)
Check out these other blogposts on where to buy Chinese books (external links). Some of these have helped me compile my list, especially of the lesser known bookstores. Some also have a more in-depth description of certain bookstores, with the bloggers have sharing their experience of purchasing from some of the bookstores.
- 有澳洲媽媽問，澳洲有中文書店嗎？, 美國的網上中文書店, 英國網上中文書店 by 蕉B大小事 (Traditional Chinese sources)
- Where to Look for Chinese / Cantonese Books by Cantonese Mommy (Traditional Chinese sources)
- Best Online Chinese Bookstores with Chinese Children’s Books and More by Chalk Academy (both Simplified and Traditional Chinese sources)
- Where to Buy Chinese Books in the US (2020 update) by Hands on Chinese Fun (both Simplified and Traditional Chinese sources)
- Where to buy Chinese books in Australia by Mandarin Homeschool (both Simplified and Traditional Chinese sources)
- Best Chinese Christian Online Bookstores for Kids by Spot of Sunshine (both Simplified and Traditional Chinese sources)
You might also enjoy reading:
- Reading in Cantonese to Your Child – Storytelling (口語) or Story Reading (書面語)?
- How To Read To Your Child When Your Cantonese Is Not Fluent
- Free Colloquial Cantonese Kid’s Educational Resources and Printables
- Cantonese Storytime and Book Reading on YouTube
- Storybooks Canada: Early Learning Storybooks
- 輕輕鬆鬆廣東話Hing Hing Sone Sone Cantonese Learning Programme