Independent Hilo Bookstore since 1985


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Basically Books is Officially Reopened!

Aloha dear friends and supporters,

We are officially open again! Having Basically Books and Petroglyph Press closed since March 21 was a time to reflect and make changes that are enabling us to return better than ever. We’re so excited to show you all the new things we’ve done. 

Since we always like to look for the good and positive things in life, we decided to use the unexpected break to make some long-desired improvements, like taking the time to install an inventory control system. It was an enormous job but we believe that it will greatly benefit our community, and our business, and all of you! 

This did delay our reopening past the date at which essential businesses, including bookstores, were allowed to reopen. However, we think it was worth it, as this system will make it possible to more easily find that elusive title, and soon will allow us to open an Online Store! 

Contrary to the perception many may have, because the building we occupy has a For Sale sign up, we are NOT moving, closing or going out of business. We intend to remain a part of our community even as we adapt to changing times. We have been sending out mail orders and allowing for take-out or pick-up since the closure, and we’re happy to continue to do so for any of our community members, especially our kupuna, who do not yet feel comfortable going outside. We can bring in not only our regular titles, but nearly any book! Just give us a call and we’ll see what we can do! 

The outpouring of support and concern from our community has been touching and heartening. From the purchase of gift certificates to be redeemed later, to the receipt of a donation out of the blue, we are blessed with caring people who want to see our independent hometown bookstore survive and thrive.
A heartfelt mahalo from our family to yours,
Christine and David Reed

We are happy to welcome everyone back, but for community safety per the Governor’s guidelines we must require everyone who comes in to:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Clean your hands
  • Maintain Social Distance

Mahalo for your cooperation.

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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