Welcome to Basically Books

Independent Hilo Bookstore since 1985

It has been over a year since Basically Books moved from Downtown Hilo to a bright new location near Banyan Drive.

After more than 30 years in Downtown we’re happy in our new home, thanks in large part to all of our loyal customers who followed us across town, and to those of you who have found us since.

It’s been a year of growth, and change, and now we’re updating our website as well.

We ask you to be patient with us as we make these changes.
For any questions, please contact us at bbinfo@hawaiiantel.net or by phone at (808) 961-0144.

Basically Books is still partnered with Petroglyph Press, and the fax, copy, and scanning services that you’ve always enjoyed have been integrated into Basically Books. If you’ve been affected by the volcanic activity in Pahoa you can come and get free fax and email service for your insurance claims.

Visit Petroglyph Press’ website for more information on commercial printing and publishing.

It is also with great sadness that we mourn the loss of local artist Dietrich Varez. Here is a message from David Reed, co-owner of Basically Books and Petroglyph Press:

“It is with immense sadness that we bid Aloha to our dear friend, artist and author Dietrich Varez, who passed gently over on August 14, 2018, at age 79. His inspiring images, down to earth sense of humor, genuine humility and simple goodness were a gift to all who crossed his path or were touched by his work. The world is a better place for his years upon it.
Dietrich is survived by his wife, Linda, and son Dietrich (Heather) Varez, Jr., four grandchildren, three nephews, and a niece. He is predeceased by his brother, Chris Varez. Condolences may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 13, Volcano, Hawaii 96785. The family has requested that donations in Dietrich’s memory be made to the Volcano Art Center: http://volcanoartcenter.org/support/donate/.
Petroglyph Press is providing postcards at the store shared by Basically Books, 1672 Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo, that can be filled out and dropped into the basket there or mailed.
How does one person know all that Dietrich accomplished? Here’s what I, David Reed, can tell you:
Dietrich, born in war-torn Germany, found in Hawaii his forever home.
Dietrich grew up a barefoot local boy, exploring tidepools and mountain streams.
Dietrich married his soul mate Linda, moved to Volcano with their son and found Pele.
Dietrich, a bartender at Volcano House and caretaker of Namakanipaio Cabins, learned the lore of his new home from the resident tellers of tales.
Dietrich carved the lore of the islands into blocks of firewood and later, linoleum blocks, hand printing the iconic images he is so well known for.
Dietrich expanded his talents by painting incredible color illustrations of his home’s legends and people.
Dietrich made his art affordable to the public so that we could all enjoy his classic representations of life, past and present, in Hawaii.
Dietrich will live with us with what we have on our walls and in our hearts.
Dietrich lived a simple, reclusive life, focusing his energy on his creations.
Dietrich may not have hung out with you, but when you crossed paths, you were his best friend.
Dietrich’s body of work is and will be recognized as a valuable legacy for generations to come.
Dietrich found my wife, Christine, and I at Petroglyph Press back in 2001 seeking to further express his love of our island. The books he created and we published are only a snippet of his life’s work. We are so proud to have been able to collaborate with him to share his passion for Hawaii, its folklore, history, native plants and animals, and the people who are at the heart of our community.”

1672 Kamehameha Ave Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Store Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10:00 – 6:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 5:00
Sunday: 10:00 – 3:00

Contact us:
For purchasing or stock questions: bbooksorders@hawaiiantel.net
General questions: bbinfo@hawaiiantel.net
Phone: (808) 961-0144

Upcoming Events:

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