Somewhere on the first floor of the shopping maze that is Liberty Plaza you'll find Lake House Bookshop, a tinier version of their former store in Colombo Fort.
Although the shop isn't of the most inviting kind on the outside, the range of cookery books and magazines displayed at the window got my attention and encouraged me to enter.
I'll quickly pass on their mainstream collection of novels. If you're into romance and detective novels – nothing wrong with that – they've got you covered.
Lake House Bookshop is more interesting when it comes to non-fiction books. Topics such as law, culinary arts, architecture and design, wildlife or religion receive some coverage. Even if limited, their selection showcases some of the expected titles in each of these categories. Yet, nothing rare nor surprising.
The cooking section happens to count an extensive range of Women's Weekly magazines priced at Rs. 350 the small one and Rs. 825 the standard size one.
A corner of the shop is dedicated to kids and teens and includes well-known titles and series such as Vampire Diaries or the Secret Seven.
Basic stationery and quite old-fashioned postcards are also available but nothing extravagant.
Price wise, Lake House Bookshop is on the higher end for novels (Rs. 900 to 2,500 for an English novel and from Rs. 350 for a Sinhalese novel) while roughly on the same level as its main competitors for non-fiction books (from Rs. 2,000 or less, prices rise up to Rs. 6,400 for bigger books).
Lit up by bright white bulbs, Lake House Bookshop isn't a cozy and charming book nook like Chapters where you can sit down, relax and browse through books while sipping coffee or hot chocolate. It's more of a functional kind of bookshop.
Apart from the English novels that are scattered around, wherever a shelf is empty, books are clearly put in display on labeled shelves. A noticeable difference from Rohan's Bookstore, its chaotic looking but outstanding competitor downstairs.
Lake House Bookshop is one of those bookstores without a soul. Practical if you're after something mainstream and happen to be around. I wouldn't particularly advise you to cross the whole city to visit it. Unless you're a big fan of Women's Weekly cooking publications.