M. D. Gunasena Bookshop (Bambalapitiya).

M. D. Gunasena takes a novel approach at the conventional bookshop, with gorgeous interior decor, and a chill atmosphere which is perfect for passing the time, and of course reading.

Selection

This particular branch opened a few years ago, and at the beginning, offered a limited selection. Since then they’ve upped their game, and now offer a much wider selection to choose from. The stationery and kids sections are located on the ground floor, while fiction, biographies, and cookery books (my personal favourite) are on the first floor. They’ve got books from pretty much every well known author and they also have oldies but goodies like Tin Tin and Archie comics.

We also love the fact that they encourage patrons to sit and read for as long they like, no purchasing required. If they don’t have a book that you’re looking for, let one of the employees know, they’ll take down the details and try to get it down as early as possible.

Service & Ambience

The level of service we experienced was quite outstanding. The staff was very friendly, spoke fluent English, and had a great knowledge of new arrivals as well as past bestsellers. I’ve visited quite a few bookshops in my time, and I can quite certainly say that the guys at M. D. Gunasena were amongst the best I’ve come across.

I visited this particular branch during the time of it’s inauguration and was blown away by the beautiful interior decor, but at the same time I was skeptical as to whether they’d be able to maintain it’s brilliance in the coming years, as so many other establishments have failed to do in the past.

Heading back after some time, I was relieved to see that it remains in that same pristine condition. The walls have a red-white theme which is enhanced by some awesome lighting. The sofas and chairs are comfy, if a bit gaudy. They also have this really neat feature where they’ve got face sculptures of historical figures scattered around the store. So kudos to the management for the attention to detail. If there’s one other thing we’d love to see, it would be a small coffee shop on the ground floor next to the reading area.  That would be bliss!

Conclusion

M.D.Gunasena is as good a place as any to buy books, but more than that, it’s an amazing place to sit and read. The beautiful setting and helpful staff all add up to a great experience.

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