Hilo, Hawaii has more bookstores than New York City, Paris, Melbourne, Amsterdam, and London.

Relatively speaking, of course.

"When it's 9am in Los Angeles, it's 1952 in Hilo."
Hilo, Hawaii. Only the cars have changed.

It’s true: Hilo, Hawaii has 43,263 people and five bookstores: Big Island BookBuyers, Still Life Books, Hilo Bay Books, Basically Books, and the University Bookstore. Throw in Enjoy Comics, and you have six.  That’s over 13 bookstores per 100,000 people.

Quartz has a list of cities with the most bookstores per 100,000 people. Looks like Hilo’s about even with Toronto–and ahead of New York and Paris.

Next time you find yourself in Hilo, take a bookstore tour and get acquainted with “The Toronto of the Pacific.”*

* Nobody calls it that.

Featured image: ‘Hilo Bay’ by Helen Thomas Dranga, c. 1920.