Colombo Public Library.

Colombo’s Public Library is pretty old and has a huge collection of books, in all three languages too. It’s not one of the most inviting places in Colombo to read at, but it opens out to Viharamahadevi park where you can maybe take your library book and set up camp.


The Public Library is right next to Viharamahadevi Park and since the whole space has been re-done, there’s a continuity between the library, the world war memorial and the park, which makes the outside area a beautiful space to chill at.

Thankfully there’s a helpful map of the place just outside the entrance. To sum up the important bits – when you walk inside, you go to your right for the library, and to your left to the newspaper room. If you step outside and walk around the main building – to the east end, you’ll find the study hall, and on the west end (passing the memorial, park and parking space), you’ll find the auditorium and the canteen. Next to the auditorium is an awesome little sale inside a lobby (more on that later).

The Library

The library is pretty big, with a whole bunch of genres. The entrance space is loaded with English books but there are also Tamil and Sinhala sections. You’ve got everything from Oscar Wilde to Vampire Diaries, some interesting coffee table books, and even a random collection of comics at the bottom of a shelf titled ‘Arts & Recreation’. The library is all dark furniture, dark floors and black leather binding, with rows of little Phillips bulbs hanging from the ceiling, so except for the ends of the room by the windows, it’s actually a dreary walk between bookshelves.

We appreciate their noble attempt to somehow organize the books in an order using labels, but the categorization is a bit disorienting. A big blue notice told us that the books were labelled with the first three letters of the author’s name, so a Nicolas Sparks book would be labelled SPA. These capital letter labels against the black leather Public Library binding make your trip around the library a slightly confusing one – you can’t easily find the books you want, although at least the bookshelves have labels of the main genres like ‘fiction’, ‘non-fiction’, ‘sciences’ and so on.

There’s a reading space at the very end of the library, with a few wooden tables and plastic chairs and windows that open out to the park. The internet section is in the lower right corner of the library.

The Newspaper Room

The library’s comprehensive newspaper room is loads more inviting on a sunny day than the library, with nice furniture and windows on all sides.

The Study Hall

The study hall is better than the library building by a mile – you’ll find it on the east end of the premises, around the right side of the main building. The reading tables are more reader-friendly, the browns and whites more soothing, and it’s very well lit up.

The glass on the exterior of the study hall is pretty cool because it’s weirdly tilted towards the ground to show you a reflection of the pavement and grass.

Green Space

The outside of the library is a very green space, with trees and a little pond on the library grounds itself, clean brick pavements, and also the war memorial space and green park next to the parking area.

Sales Next-Door

There’s a little lobby that few people know about, on the west corner of the premises, around the left side of the library building. There’s always a sale here of second hand books, which although are of a limited range are given away at ridiculous 20-50% discounts. But even cooler than that is that you get a rare collection of high quality vintage movie CDs here, a lot of English ones, but also Hindi ones, some with Sinhala subtitles – movies that aren’t in stores anymore and are difficult to come by even online in good quality.

They are sold at just Rs. 100 and there’s a DVD player to check if they work before you make your purchase. We were told most of the stuff here are from the personal collections of the people who run the sale itself. The sale is open every day from 9AM to 4.30PM.


We love the public library because it’s so old – the books are aged and yellow and they smell amazing, and any proper bookworm will understand the charm of being in a room full of hundreds of stories, and wondering how many people must have leafed through the same books before you since decades ago. There’s a big selection inside, though the interior is rather drab and finding something you have in mind might be a feat. We suggest you borrow your books and you head out to the study hall or the park for a better reading space.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp



7 restaurants for kottu in Colombo 2022

By Sawbhagya Perera A good Kottu is an instant mood fixer. Therefore, for the love

Kamu Yamu Guide

Cheesy biriyani at Arthur’s pizzeria.

By RD Their story If you live in and around Mount Lavinia you would have

Kamu Slider

Dig-in desserts from the Gourmet Cuisine

With all this time to spend at home thinking about what's in the fridge since

Kamu Slider

Spanish & French fusion restaurant – Hola Bonjour review

Our cloud kitchen revolves around our chef Lucas Francois, who has years of experience in

Kamu Slider

Your go-to restaurant in Chilaw – Clement’s Chilaw review

By Warsha Dissanayake We visited Clements brand new outlet based in Chilaw towards the evening


Holy crepes at Crepe Runner – Bambalapitiya

By Maryam Rizwan No one does crepes as good as Crepe Runner does. Starting from



‘Ceylon Coffee’ first-ever Sri Lanka Coffee Festival

Stakeholders come together to promote ‘Ceylon Coffee’ at first-ever Sri Lanka Coffee Festival The Australian

Featured Trending

Hilton Colombo Celebrates World Chocolate Cake Day

Café Kai, Hilton Colombo’s pastry shop is highlighting their  best-selling cakes in commemoration of World


What you didn’t know about NFTs

By Ruchika Seneviratne It is the talk of the town as of now and quite


THYAGA Smart Gifting Platform Shines at National ICT Awards 2021

26 January 2022, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s largest multistore gift voucher site,, received two coveted


Spilling the tea on the history of chai

 By Rahma Rifkhan As the hot water seeps in through the tea leaves, the aroma

Slider Trending

That time we met Bumblebee at One Galle Face

By Hiruni Herath If you thought the Transformers fandom was dead even before the 2018


Yamu Guide.

7 restaurants for kottu in Colombo 2022

By Sawbhagya Perera A good Kottu is an instant mood fixer. Therefore, for the love

Kamu Yamu Guide

6 Things You Will Love in Colombo’s Port City

Colombo has seen rapid development in many avenues over the years. One such development that

Slider Yamu Guide

7 Job roles of the future

By Tashia Ranasinghe Trying to have a stable income while doing what you enjoy is

Yamu Guide

5 home appliances you should upgrade to in 2022 

It is the new year and the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be still lurking around,

Slider Yamu Guide

Style 2022 with these 5 items from Mimosa

By MI Welcoming 2022 with style and elegance Mimosa recently located to 20 Bagatalle Road,

Slider Yamu Guide

5 ways SLASH will help you make more out of 2022!

By Warsha Dissanayake Ever wanted to get the maximum use for the products you are

Yamu Guide


ලොව බිහිසුනුම දාම ඝාතිකාවන් (Woman serial killers) 10 දෙනෙක්

By Yesha Fernando කාන්තාවන් කිව්වම හැමවෙලාවෙම වගේ අපේ ඔලුවේ මැවෙන්නේ හරි සංවේදී, ආදරණීය පිරිසක්. ලෝකයේ


2022 සැමරුම හොඳටම කරපු රටවල් 10 ක්  

By Yesha Fernando මරණය, කුසගින්න, විරැකියාව, ආර්ථික අවපාතය, දේශපාලන අර්බුද යනාදී ගෝලීය දුෂ්කරතා රැසක් මැදින්


හොරු අතරට අලුතින් එක් වූ “ජංගි හොරා”

By Yesha Fernando මෙරට සියලු ආකාර හොරු අතරට එක්වූ අලුත්ම හොරා "ජංගි හොරා" යි. මෙකී

Featured Sinhala

Squid Game අපට කියා දෙන ජීවිත පාඩම් 6 ක්

ත්‍රාසය, ශෝකය, කුතුහලය වගේම මෙයට වඩා තවත් බොහෝ ජීවිත පාඩමුත් Squid Game කථාංග නවයට ඇතුළත්.


පිස්සුම නව අවුරුදු සිරිත් විරිත් 6 ක්

එහෙනම් කට්ටියම තමන්ගේම ක්‍රමේකට 2022 පිළිගන්න ලේස්ති වෙමු.

Sinhala Trending