Calling all casual readers, bookworms and bibliophiles! Regardless of where you score on the book-loving spectrum, everyone’s got their thing when it comes to the written word. Singapore may be a small island, but it’s chock a block full of bookstores that will cater to your reading needs, be it classical, mainstream or obscure.
Digital screens may rule our lives, but books still and will persist. There’s nothing quite like the experience of holding a physical book in your hand, feeling its weight, turning its pages, and of course, enjoying its unique scent (don’t say you don’t sniff books, because we all do!).
We’ve put together a list of Singapore’s coolest bookstores for your pleasurable perusal. If you’re on the hunt for something specific, these gems may just have what you’re looking for.
Epigram Bookshop is an incredibly special book shop, and not just because it shares its beautiful space with Huggs Coffee (though no one can deny that sipping on your favourite cuppa while getting lost in a book is a pretty unbeatable combination). Epigram proudly stocks only local books, the first of its kind in Singapore. Their in-house publishing arm focuses solely on extraordinary local talent, thought-provoking titles and all manner of local fiction — novels, short stories, plays, children’s books and some poetry — and non-fiction books.
Epigram Bookshop / 1008 Toa Payoh North #03-08, Singapore 318996 / +65 6292 4456 / Mon to Fri, 9am – 6pm; closed on the weekends
BooksActually’s shelves are lined with the largest collection of English literature books in Singapore. Whether your book mood calls for something classic, modern or obscure, they’ve got it stocked. And it’s all about the ambience in this book shop, with its distinctly nostalgic feel, vintage-styled interiors and handmade knickknacks and trinkets. BookActually also plays host to open mic nights for poetry and the spoken word, if you’re feeling eloquent (and brave). Stroll by their Facebook or website to check out their upcoming events.
BooksActually / No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru, Singapore / +65 6222 9195 / Mon, 9am – 6pm; Tue to Sat, 9am – 7pm; Sun, 9am – 6pm
The Moon is more than just a bookstore — it’s a multi-concept space where creativity of all kinds can flow. It’s a book store, a cafe, and a cool space for all sorts of whimsical events. This July, they’ve got yoga sessions, full moon meditation and soap-making classes, among other quirky events. The Moon has a selection of books that are specially curated, with a focus on writers of colour and especially aims to address the historical gender imbalance in English publishing — more than 50% of their collection are books by women authors. It’s all about diversity, multiculturalism, and of course, beautiful books.
The Moon /37 Mosque Street, Singapore 059515 / email@example.com / Mon to Thurs, 11am – 9pm; Fri to Sat, 11am – 12mn; Sun, 11am – 9pm
Littered with Books is a charming bookstore built for book lovers. There’s nothing run-of-the-mill about this book shop, and with its well-edited selection of local and English reads, it’s full to bursting with personality and magic. The staff at Littered with Books are themselves well-read and keen to make recommendations if you’re stumped or want something new, and what’s great is that they are more than willing to place orders for you if a book you’re fancying isn’t already on their shelves.
Littered with Books / 20 Duxton Road, Singapore 089486 / +65 6220 6824 / Mon to Sun, 12pm – 8pm
Basheer Graphic Books is a fantasy come true for book-cum-art lovers. They stock an impressive collection of specialised titles in graphics, cartooning, animation, illustration, architecture, interior design, landscape design, fashion design, product design, graphic design, typography, photography, arts and crafts, picture books, drawing books, sketching books, copywriting books, inspirational books and magazines. If you’re looking for some artistic inspiration, this book shop’s full to the brim with it. Most of the books in their selection are art pieces in themselves!
Basheer Graphic Books /Bras Basah Complex #04-19, 231 Bain St, Singapore 180231 / +65 6336 0810 / Mon to Sat, 10am – 8.30pm; Sun & Public Holidays, 11am – 6.30pm
This seems like a suitable moment for a quote on books, and who better to quote than one of my personal favourites, George Gordon, better known in the literary world as Lord Byron, the British bad boy poet of the Romantic era best known for his satirical poem Don Juan.
Famous for his amorous lifestyle, close friendship with fellow writers and Mary Shelley (who penned the cult classic Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus) and Percy Bysshe Shelley (Ozymandias), and decadent way with words, Lord Byron is considered one of the greats in English literature.
“If I could always read, I should never feel the want of company.” – Lord Byron
A book is more than just words printed on pieces of paper bound together, it’s more than a good story — it’s an experience, and it’s a friend. I don’t know about you, but I know what I’m doing this weekend! /TISG