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About Us


Although I first came to Malaysia before Merdeka, I came to settle here in 2009 after spending most of my life in Asia. From the moment I could read, books have been central to my life. So I was disappointed to discover that there were no booksellers offering a broad range of books, both new and old, about the country. 

In mid-2010, I started experimenting by selling at the Little Penang Street Market on the last Sunday of each month. However, soon I had too many books to take to market and so moved onto the internet. I tried a shop for a year, but resented being tied to fixed hours and so moved to being principally an online bookseller the following year.

Today The Penang Bookshelf has the broadest range of books about Malaysia for sale on the internet. We carry a mixture of books that are in print and are out of print. The principal mission is to enable customers in Malaysia to obtain books which are difficult to find here and to enable customers outside Malaysia to find books seldom available elsewhere. At any given time at least 30% of even our in print stock is not available at any other major bookseller in Malaysia.

We have regular customers in every state in Malaysia and in every continent except for South America. Our customers range from book lovers and academics to well known national and international institutions. 

As far as we are aware The Penang Bookshelf is the only bookseller in Malaysia which is a member of an international professional bookselling body. The Penang Bookshelf is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association and William Knox was its President from 2014 to 2016. 

Although The Penang Bookshelf's business is principally on line, we also
  • supply rare books to two bookshops in Penang and to another bookseller in Kuala Lumpur. 
  • welcome Penang residents and visitors  to The Penang Bookshelf store in Batu Ferringhi after making an appointment be either telephoning William Knox on 012-972-6485 or emailing him at penangbookshelf@gmail.com and
  • sell at occasional outside events such as conferences, fairs and the Little Penang Street Market

If you have suggestions of how we can improve our service, do please contact us at penangbookshelf@gmail.com.