Basically Books More than a Bookstore...a Gathering of Things Hawaiian. Specializing in Hawaiian Books.


E Komo Mai…Welcome

Painting by Don Blanding of hula girl.

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.

Happy Merrie Monarch Week!

Here is our lineup for this week!

Monday, April 6, 1:30 pm

Photographer William Chillingworth presents his stunning photos along with essays by several contributors in 'Io Lani, The Hawaiian Hawk. This magnificent bird was once the symbol of Hawaiian royalty but is now a threatened species and found only on the island of Hawai'i.


Wednesday, April 8, 12 noon

Kumu Hula Kunewa Mook of Hula Halau 'O Kamuela will be sharing selections from his debut CD, Kunewa, 'Oia Ka Manawa. Come listen to these classic mele and meet one of Hawaii's most renowned hula masters.

Thursday, April 9, 11 am

Meet renowned Volcano artist Dietrich Varez as he unveils his latest book, Iwa, The Hawaiian Legend, published by Petroglyph Press. It tells the story of a magical cowry shell octopus lure; the fisherman, Kea'au; the stealthy boy-thief, Iwa; and the famous high chief, Umi.


Friday, April 10, 2 pm
Originally from Hilo, now a Bay Area resident, Kumu Hula and musician Kawika Alfiche will share Hawaiian standards and original compositions featuring songs written for his Kumu, the late Rae Fonseca.

Saturday, April 11, 9:30 am

Enjoy the talented members of Waipuna - Kale Hannahs, Matthew Sproat and David Kamakahi as they entertain us with their versatility, range and charm. As musicians with deep roots in the most renowned musical families in Hawaii, they pass forward beloved mele.

Saturday, April 11, 1:30 pm

In his exhaustively researched, carefully written and powerfully argued study, No Makou Ka Mana, Kamanamaikalani Beamer offers a new point of reference for understanding the formation of the Hawaiian government by combining old traditions and new ideas introduced by foreigners.

New Product From Petroglyph Press
Practical Folk Medicine of Hawaii
Petroglyph Press is proud to present this new, updated version of Practical Folk Medicine of Hawaii, by Likeke McBride. A reprint of a 1970s book, this version has been updated with color pictures of the plants, new botanical names, a new introduction by Dane Silva and an informative chapter on Hawaiian healing.

Contact Information
Phone: (808) 961-0144
Toll-Free: 1-800-903-MAPS
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!

The Basically Books Family

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.

picture of books.

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!

Map of Downtown Hilo with star showing location of Basically Books.

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