Calling All Bookworms: 9 Independent Bookstores in Singapore Worth Visiting
Our love for books never gets old, and although bookstores aren’t as popular as they used to be, compared to even 20 years ago…
Nothing quite beats the familiarity of buying a book, touching its pages for the first time, and even the intoxicating smell of books… If you’re somewhat of an old-school bookworm, are hunting down children’s books, or even looking for something more niche – it’s time you get book hunting at these independent bookstores around the city!
1. A 24 hour bookstore?: The Zall Bookstore 卓爾書店
Perhaps when visiting China, Wuhan to be exact, you may have spotted this ultra trendy bookstore, sporting rows and levels of different Chinese books and novels published in either China, Taiwan, and some even in Singapore.
As book lovers, we’re pretty obsessed with the store’s layout, showcasing books in individual casings on shelves, it almost feels out of this world. You can also grab a coffee or something to drink at the cafe here!
2. Looking for Chinese books? – Grassroots Book Room (草根書室)
Although this may not be the biggest bookstore around, it holds somewhat of historical literary importance, and when originally founded, it was a gathering place for literary and artistic youths.
Since moving from its place at the National Library, inside the bookstore you’ll find a wide selection of mostly Chinese books ranging across both fiction and nonfiction categories including dramas, philosophy, history, politics and literature and they do stock a small range of international authors too.
3. A place for the dreamers: The Moon
Do you enjoy spending your reading time in warm, relaxing and ambient spaces? Take a few hours browsing the books at this ultra cute bookstore (and cafe) filled with perfect nooks and crannies made for chilling in the sunlight.
If your preferred genre lies among holistic, wellness and spiritual novels, you’ll find yourself in seventh heaven, and they specialise in all things tarot! Grab a slice of cake or a cup of tea from the cafe whilst you spend time exploring or escaping into a world of words.
4. A good old-fashioned bookstore: Littered with Books
There’s just something about walking into a bookstore that still feels like the classical ones from way back in time, with shelves and rows lined with paperbacks, all adding their natural colours to the store’s ambience…
It all kind of adds to the thrill of book hunting, and the atmosphere here is exactly the same.
If you’re searching for your favourite English author, chances are they may have it here, and they cover a solid variety of fiction and non-fiction genres, including the classics, poetry and even art and graphic novels.
5. Local stories, history lessons and tales by Singaporean writers: Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop
Not just a bookstore, this chain is a publishing house too. Many of the books here are published by Epigram Books themselves.
As a result, you’ll discover all kinds of local stories, under all genres of fiction and non-fiction, including a fantastic selection of books for teens and kids. Most of the plots and twists of these books are centred around and based in Singapore too!
6. If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise’: Woods in the Books
Do you remember those pop-up books from when we were kids? Or perhaps you have children of your own now, and are looking for a bookstore with a beautiful selection of such styled-books? Well, this store specialises in picture books!
As you take a walk through the green door, you’ll be greeted by a colourful and character-filled store, with illustrations on the walls and picture books everywhere. From special illustrated stories, to those written and designed for children, you (or the little ones) will have all the fun going through these piles!
7. This may just become your child’s favourite new store: Books Ahoy
This is actually a sister store to Woods in the Books. However, it’s not just picture books that you’ll discover here but a rare selection of hard-to-come-by books and novels in Singapore, particularly for kids and children’s literature.
Most of the books are in English, with a large selection of imported titles to browse and we recommend bringing the little humans with you too. They’ll love checking out the books displayed on shelves and walls like works of art!
PS: Various events such as book fairs and meetups are also held here. For more details, please check their official website.
8. Selling books since 1969!: Maha Yu Yi
Are you simply after a Chinese bookstore that has a vast selection of different categories to choose from? The ones here include politics and sciences, healthcare, fictional literary novels and many, many books for kids and teens to choose from.
In fact, they do have a speciality (although they stock most genres) and that’s Chinese Children’s Books, including many popular and beloved kid’s picture books, just as an FYI.
9. For the love of Art: Basheer Graphic Books
Listen, not everyone enjoys reading, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate a great book, especially one that’s related to your interests, or make for a beautiful coffee table topper.
These guys specialise in mostly design-related books and magazines, falling under the interests of Architecture, Landscape Design, Interiors, Graphic Design, Arts & Crafts, Animation, Fashion Design, Photography,
I mean, the list goes on and on. Do also check out their epic Pantone Colour Guides, and they have a bunch of bargain books for sale too!
For all our book worms, or budding reading enthusiasts, we hope this list has helped set you on your book hunting adventure!
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