Exploring Burma’s Bookshops: OS

Named after its owner, Ohn Saw, OS was a pallet stall on Pansodan Street for 30 years, until opening at its present location at the turn of the transition in 2012.  Despite the sheer amount of books in the shop, the majority of the 100,000 stock is kept in various places, including in bundle sacks in alleyways, and the 1st floor of empty buildings on Pansodan Street …

The small frame to the right of the entrance displaying English language books on Myanmar is just a portion of what is inside.  Make a right as soon as you enter, and in the corner is a depository of one of the best second hand collections of English language books by Myanmar writers spanning decades in the country.  Take one of the small stools that are scattered around. Sit down and spend some time to move the stacks of books infront of you.  As behind these stacks are more works, and behind these are more.  There is no order or theme, books on Myanmar culture are side by side with Jinghpaw language dictionaries.  Behind these will be a pre-war almanac of motor-roads, next to socialist era journals next to translated novels.

The shop expands the further you go in, with two more, larger sections on Burmese books.

Weekends are busiest, with most of OS’s customers, as usual for a secondhand bookstore, looking for a specific title rather than general browsing.

Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm

No.84, 37th Street, Lower Block (between Mahabandoola and Merchant Street), Kyauktada Township, Yangon

Tel. 01 377441, 09 260513155, 09420053798

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