Established in February 2017 Bleak House Books (清明堂 in Chinese) is an indie bookshop in Hong Kong that specializes in new and used English language books. At Bleak House Books we love books but what we love even more are good books. That's why we hand curate everything we end up putting on our shelves.
Part bookshop, part community space, Bleak House Books is a place where booklovers and thinkers can take refuge from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong to meet, share ideas, and do what they love most: read!
Come visit us in our new space in San Po Kong, Kowloon where you can find vintage comics and sheet music in addition to the books you see here on the website, and ones you don't.
Who We Are:
Albert Wan, Co-Founder and Chief Bookworm No. 1
An American by birth but Hong Konger by osmosis (his parents were born and raised here but moved to the U.S. at a relatively young age), Albert now calls Hong Kong home - the place where he lives, works and tends to his loved ones.
Running a bookstore is a career change of sorts for Albert who had his own law pracitce in Atlanta, Georgia. He's since traded in his law books for some used books of varying genres (around 5,000+ of them as of this writing and always growing). He likes scotch, baseball and old movies. His favorite writer is George Orwell.
Jenny Smith, Co-Founder and Chief Bookworm No. 2
Jenny grew up in the US state of Florida and still misses cheese grits and key lime pie, but is otherwise very thankful for the opportunity to live and work in Hong Kong. When she is not tending the books at Bleak House she is a professor at Hong Kong's Big Deal University (HKBDU). She does not have just one favorite author, but always enjoys re-reading Dorothy Sayers, Octavia Butler and John Berger.
Angel Lai Ka Man, Second Assistant Bookworm
Angel replaces the ever-capable Rachel who is on an indefinite leave of absence. The last we hread Rachel was seen wandering the streets of SoHo at night mumbling about wanting to take a Mr Jarndyce to court.
Angel grew up in Singapore so she can speak a mean Singl-lish but has come to call Hong Kong home. She is what we'd call a bibliophile's bibliophile having worked at bookshops all over Hong Kong before landing at Bleak House Books. We still don't know how good she is with a Hong Kong cart (a key job requirement for when we were hiring a replacement for Rachel) but she can sniff out a good book from a mile away. Angel likes film, fragrances/perfumes, chilling with cats, and hiking. She refuses to reveal to us who her favorite author is claiming she doesn't have one.
Rachel Parnham, First Assistant Bookworm (Emeritus)
Rachel has been with us ever since we've set up shop in San Po Kong. A former librarian and avid reader, Rachel is a tireless cataloger and organizer of our books and without her efforts this website would be a lot less interesting to look at and browse.
So please thank her the next time you see her at our shop. We do everyday! Rachel likes hanging out with her dog, seeing live music, and trying Hong Kong night spots and restaurants. Her favorite writer is Kate Atkinson.
Vicky Nunn, Artist in Residence
We realized pretty early on that to make it as a startup in Hong Kong (or anywhere else for that matter) we needed a damn good graphic artist and we found one in Vicky Nunn. Vicky is responsible for all the wonderful art you see on this website, not to mention our lovely treehouse logo and probably everything else that bears our logo. A native of the U.K. Vicky is now based in Brisbane where she spends her time freelancing and teaching herself web design. Vicky likes beaches, cats and anything art-related. Her favorite writer is Franz Kafka. Check out her portfolio here.