About Us

Hilo’s Hometown Bookstore
Basically Books is a specialty bookstore that has been serving the Hilo and Hawaii Island community since 1985. The focus is on books about Hawaii, Hawaiian Music CDs and DVDs, maps of Hawaii and the world, books in the Hawaiian language, island-themed gifts and souvenirs. A large children’s section features picture books, young readers, and young adult books, as well as a selection of plush and educational toys. Frequent events feature local authors and musicians sharing their Aloha. Some popular fiction, classics, and non-fiction are stocked and special orders are welcome. Copy, fax, and email services are also offered.
The friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to help locals and visitors find what they are looking for. Care is taken to bring in the latest new products and books. Aloha is spoken here. It should be the first stop for visitor information and the last stop for gifts and souvenirs.
After decades in downtown Hilo, Basically Books and its parent company, Petroglyph Press, relocated in July 2017 to a spacious, well-lit storefront prominently located on Kamehameha Ave. near Banyan Drive, between landmark eateries Ken’s House of Pancakes and Coqui’s. A large, accessible parking lot, central AC, covered outdoor seating area and high visibility are some of the advantages of the new location. Visit soon, call, message or email for more information.


Take a Virtural Tour of our New Location!

After 32 years in Downtown Hilo, Basically Books is proud and excited to announce our move to a new location. We haven’t moved far, only a mile and a half down the road. Now near Banyan Drive and Ken’s, Basically Books is offering the same great products and the same great service in a brand new location.

Our new location hosts plenty of dedicated parking, and a great spot to stop on the way to both the docks and the Airport. First stop in town for visitor information, last stop for souvenirs, and always a great place to come for gifts, information, the perfect book, or a CD from our wide selection of Hawaiian music.




Come to our brand new Keiki Corner, full of Hawaii children’s books, toys, gifts, and games for all.






We are constantly looking for new books about the literature, culture, history and ecology of Hawaii. Our New Books shelf is the place to come to look for great new finds.





Our music selection is the best on the island. Come in and listen to some, or talk to our knowledgeable staff about what you’re looking for.


Whoever you’re shopping for, whether it’s an adventure loving friend, a grandchild, someone who just likes to curl up with a good book, or a great gift to pamper yourself with, Basically Books has something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you at our new location!