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Book Xcess @ Rex KL

Continuing its trend of bookstores that double as lifestyle destinations, Book Xcess’ newest flagship store in the heart of Kuala Lumpur is set to become the city’s hottest hub for arts and culture. Tucked on the second floor of Rex KL, the store opened in November 2021 and is home to thousands of books. But even non-bibliophiles have a reason to pay a visit, thanks to its cool aesthetics and architecture.

While parts of the space have been renovated, much of the old layout and fixtures from the venue’s days as a theatre have been retained, providing some very cool photo opps for the Gram.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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Book Xcess is located on the second floor, where the theatre used to house the first-class seats.
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The store’s entrance houses a section dedicated to children’s books and young adult fiction. The shelves are built with a low overhead clearance, so it feels like you’re entering a maze of sorts.

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Large floor to ceiling windows allow for plenty of natural sunlight to filter in and afford visitors with stunning views of the surroundings.

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KL Tower in the distance juxtaposed against older shoplots with the typical ‘kaki lima’ (five foot walkway) design. This is one of the things I love about KL — it’s eclectic flavour where modernity meets tradition.
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Ascend the staircase — which is intentionally left in a raw and exposed state, with chipped concrete and peeling paint — and you’ll come to the main area, which features rows upon rows of towering shelves, built to resemble a labyrinth, and with books stacked from floor to ceiling. The high ceilings give the space an airy, lofty feel, and it just looks great architecturally. It’s no wonder influencers have been coming here in droves to take photos.

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Exploring the ‘maze’.
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View from the mezzanine. As mentioned, this used to be where the first class seats were located, back when Rex KL was still a theatre. The large movie screen has been removed, but the hall below is still used as an event space.
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Mind your step while exploring the place—since they’ve kept the original floor plan (ie tiered, to accommodate for theatre seating), it’s easy to accidentally stumble down the steps. There are warning signs around, but if you have kids it’s best to be cautious, as the steps are pretty high.

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If you’re coming from the main floor, look out for this little door near the cashier which leads to a stairwell and loops back into another section of the store. There’s a glass walkway here leading through a narrow corridor, which is pretty cool looking.

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Also within this space is Rex KL’s new rooftop bar and restaurant, Shhhbuuulee, which serves small plates alongside sake, high balls, and wines. I came during the day so it wasn’t open, but would love to come back for a visit.

What else is there to do at Rex KL?

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Plenty! Rex KL is one of those creative spaces where you can easily wile away your time, and they also regularly host cool events and exhibitions. There are some good F&B options within too.

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Stellar is located at the entrance and serves specialty coffee.
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The Background is RexKL’s collective of eateries and restos. There’s something for every palate, from the plant-based urban ‘warung’ Lauk Pauk, to Ticklish Ribs & Wiches which is every meat lovers dream.
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The Rex Bar is where you go to quench your thirst on artisan craft beers, handmade highball cocktails, experimental drinks as well as local items with a spin, such as sparkling tuak.
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If you can read Chinese, there is another bookstore within Rex KL to check out called Mentor Bookstore. They carry books from indie Taiwanese as well as Malaysian authors, plus titles translated from Western authors.
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Retailers located on the mezzanine and ground floor include DH Paper Art, an indie design studio, and Outsider Bikes, a bike shop offering custom builds.

BOOK XCESS @ REX KL

80, Jalan Sultan, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Selangor

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM

Getting to REX KL

The nearest train station is the Pasar Seni LRT station. From there, Rex KL is a 5 minute walk.

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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