E Komo Mai…Welcome
Welcome to Basically Books! We are a family-owned independent bookstore located in historic downtown Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii, facing beautiful Hilo Bay.
The latest contribution of beloved artist Dietrich Varez to interpreting and illustrating stories from Hawaiian folklore is presented in 'Iwa, The Hawaiian Legend. When the fisherman Kea'au, renowned for catching octopus, finds two beautiful and rare red cowry shells he thinks they must be a gift from the goddess Hina.
After he fashions them into a lure, the octopus swarm to the magical shells and he gathers more than enough to feed his whole village. The bounty is short lived when chief 'Umi learns of the magical shell lure and demands to have it for himself.
Thus begins the tale of how the boy-thief, 'Iwa, who exhibits the same thieving traits as his namesake, the Great Frigatebird, is invited to the island of Hawai'i to retrieve the precious lure. There he encounters the high chief 'Umi, famous historical ruler of Hawai'i island, who puts 'Iwa's talents to the test.
The rich imagery of Hawai'i's diverse environment, its sea life, plants and animals is depicted alongside Varez's interpretation of the human aspect of this classic tale.
This year PETROGLYPH PRESS received an Honorable Mention for PRACTICAL FOLK MEDICINE OF HAWAII for Excellence in Text and Reference. We are so excited and grateful for the acknowledgement. Mahalo to the Hawaii Book Publishers Association.
Fax: (808) 935-1553
We specialize in Hawaiian books, and stock a wide selection of current Hawaiiana literature. Our selection includes history, fiction, travel guides, natural history, marine science, children's books, and much more. We also specialize in rare and out of print Hawaiian books—we may have that hard-to-find book that you're looking for!
Basically Books is also the largest map dealership in Hilo and on the Big Island—in fact, we are sometimes called "The Map Shop." Check out our Maps page for more information!
In addition to all of this, we carry a large selection of Hawaiiana gifts, many of them made right here in the Islands.
We don't have online ordering yet, but you can email us or give us a call at (808) 961-0144 (Hawaii Island) or 1-800-903-MAPS (Toll Free). If you find yourself in Hilo, please come visit us at 160 Kamehameha Avenue, and let our friendly and knowledgeable staff help you find what you're looking for. Discover for yourself why we are more than a bookstore!
Did you enjoy your visit? Find what you were looking for? Please review us on Trip Advisor!
- LocationWe are located at 160 Kamehameha Avenue in Downtown Hilo, between Haili Street and Kalakaua Street. Where is Hilo? Click here to find out!Downtown Hilo map courtesy of Odyssey Publishing.
- Store Hours
Monday thru Friday: 10:00am-6:00pm
- Contact InformationPhone: (808) 961-0144
Fax: (808) 935-1553