Independent Hilo Bookstore since 1985

Basically Books is Closed — for Now — but we’re still available for phone orders, mailing, and pickup by appointment.

Community Safety Kokua

After some very serious soul searching we have decided that it is in the best public interest for us to close our store for the time being.

Beginning Saturday, March 21 we will keep the doors closed to the public. But we won’t be entirely gone! We pride ourselves on being a resource for the community, but we have to balance that with keeping ourselves and everyone else safe so we’ve come up with a compromise.

Instead of coming in to browse, you can call us or send us an email with everything from a vague idea of wanting a present for a birthday, to needing a specific reference book — either way we’ll get back to you with ideas or a confirmation. We can mail packages or arrange for pick-up as we continue to be available to supply books, games, and music that will help pass the days at this extraordinary time in our society.

If there is anything we can find for you, call 1-808-961-0144 or email

We are happy to work with our community to keep us all connected. This is new territory for us all. Please join together to support your family and community. Stay safe and healthy. We will come out of this stronger and more connected. 

What can you personally do?

Right now it’s important to protect yourself and your community.

  • Stay informed, and if at all possible, stay home.
  • Keep up-to-date on news and recommendations

Mahalo to everyone for your support. Stay safe, and be kind to each other.

Basically Books is your first stop in Hilo for visitor information, and your last stop for gifts and souvenirs.

Independent bookstores are the lifeblood of the community, and Basically Books has always been dedicated to creating a lifelong community of readers, from Keiki to Kupuna. For over 33 years we have been focusing on the local community and Hawaii, by working to both provide resources for the local community and engage visitors in the history, culture, and beauty of our island home. We also support local authors and crafters by carrying locally made items and books.

Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it here, and our friendly staff is here to assist you. Information about Hawaii, a good book, research reference, gifts from Hawaii to take to friends abroad, or souvenirs to take back home, you can find all of that and more at Basically Books.


Basically Books is partnered with Petroglyph Press. The fax, copy, and scanning services that you’ve always enjoyed have been integrated into Basically Books.

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

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