BANGKOK — While the place makes sense at night, it’s unclear what to do on RCA when the sun is out. Those waiting for showtimes at House RCA have had little more to do than eat 25-baht omelettes or wander around Tops Supermarket.
That’s changed now with new kid on the avenue Zombie Books, a multi-story building that opened a few months back to offer everything the idle class yearns for, from bookstore and gallery to coworking space, cafe and bar.
Walk about a five-minute walk up the road from the movie theatre and step inside to find wooden shelves lined with thousands of new and used books in both Thai and English. Covers range from Charles Dickens’ classics to post-feminist, chick lit “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” to the bestselling adventures ala “Into the Wild.”
Not into books, just thirsty? That’s alright because at the back of the first floor sits a coffee shop serving your basic iced Cappuccino to exotically named soft drinks such as Zombie Blood, a mix of apple and strawberry sodas.
Stairs lead up to the mezzanine, where tables and chairs are ready for chit-chat, workshops, meetings or just working in peace under warm lighting. The second floor is quite similar, and lined with a dozen of framed pictures on the walls.
The third floor is a bar where some artful collage works, a record player and gaming machine area available. The bar opens at 6am and closes at midnight. Live bands of various genres from acoustic to jazz perform live on Fridays and Saturdays. The space is sometimes used for events such as mini-concerts or stand-up comedy.
“It’s rare for someone who goes to a bookstore just to buy only one book. So I want my bookshop to be somewhere interesting and not so boring,” the owner explains. “And I gotta make it not boring too.”
He only identifies himself as Tong and says at first he only wanted to create an online bookstore. But since space is needed to store the books, he decided to open a physical shop too.
Each book sold, mostly works of fiction, come from Tong’s preferences.
“The shop comes from my tastes. It is built from who I am and what I like,” said Thong, who is also writer under the pen name “10 Decibels.”
Zombie Books is Tong’s third bookshop, after his first in Pai and another in Bangkok. He said the the undead-themed name came from his return after a previous business failure.
“I’m still alive. I’m not dead yet,” Tong said. “Another reason is my belief that when a customer comes into our shop once, they’ll come back again. It’s like they’re one of us, they’re bitten by a zombie.”
Zombie Books is located along the RCA party strip off Phetchaburi Road, can be reached by a motorbike from MRT Phetchaburi.