4 Local Bookstores/Publishers that All Tourists Must Visit in Singapore

While e-book may be overtaking physical bookstore, local bookstores in Singapore are slowly gaining its crowd and are making waves in the international scene. So while you are coming to Singapore, make sure to plan a visit to our local bookstore too!

1. BooksActually

I believe this bookstore requires no introduction. Listed as one of the best bookstore in Singapore by CultureTrip, BooksActually has withstood the test of time and emerge more victorious than before. Using the money left behind by his mum, Kenny Leck founded Books Actually to keep Singapore literature alive. He was once very adamant about the literature scene that he would chase anybody out from his bookstore if someone commented that books are dead, as confessed during his CNA interview. Just when Borders, MPH are shutting its doors around the world, BooksActually is expanding. It even expanded into having a vending machine that disperse out books. Each book is carefully wrapped in identical plain wrapper, with just plain words written on it, so that reader can no longer “judge the book by its cover’ literally.  BooksActually has also branched out and established their own publishing press – Mathpaper to help local writers to fulfil their writing dream.

 

Storefront of BooksActually

Founder Kenny Leck together with the book vending machine

Location: 9 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168645

Website: https://www.booksactuallyshop.com/

2. Ethos 

Another strong contender to BooksActually, Ethos focus on local books with strong stories and virtues that are meant to provoke thoughts. Its most recent book, “This is how inequality looks like” was so popular that it was sold out island wide. That book discusses about the situation of the poor, how does a poor live, look and how it lives a vastly different live from an ordinary Singaporean. Written by a sociologist professor in Nanyang Technological University, the book ended up sparking debates both online and offline. Beyond just social issues, Ethos also published books by “part time” writers. Writers who have a full time job outside but a story to tell. “Philosophy madness” discuss about the writer herself, who majored in Philosophy and her struggle with schizophrenia. Another of Ethos’ book is “17A Keong Siak Road” which talks about the prostitution and brothers in Keong Siak, written by the author who is the daughter of the brothel owner.

 

The widely sold out book – This is how inequality looks like

 

17A Keong Saik Road – personal story of a daughter of a brothel owner

Location: 28, #06-131 Sin Ming Ln, Midview City, 573972
Books are available in all major bookstores such as Times, Popular outlets
Website: https://www.ethosbooks.com.sg/

3. Littered with Books

If you happen to be living near Tanjong Pagar, you might want to pop by this Indie Bookstore and give it a visit. A two-storeyed shophouse transformed bookstore, it allows readers to escape into paradise while being in the heart of the city. Nevermind if you are not a bookworm, the wide variety that this bookstore provides, from non-fiction, to mystery to even travel narrative, we are sure that you can find the one you love.

Interior Design of Littered with Books

 

4. Grassroots Book Room

One of the rare few book store in Singapore that only sells Chinese book, the Grassroots Book Room is a favourite amongst the bilingual Singaporeans. Over there, one can find personal stories of overseas Chinese, who are longing to find a sense of belonging overseas. One could read about how the history of China ended up intertwining with Malaysia and Singapore. Or one may also chance upon a book that talks about the history of Nandah, the predecessor of Nanyang Technological University. But whatever it may be, its the letter writing that leaves an impression on visitors. Irrespective if you have gotten a book, anybody is welcome to write a letter, addressing to nobody, or even replying a stranger’s letter. Yes, you read that right.  You can choose to write a letter about your woes or dreams. Or choose to reply to somebody else’s letter. If you are lucky, you may receive a reply during your next visit. You might never know who you are writing to, because the owner believes that love and care can be transmitted through words.

 

Location: 25 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore 089839
Website: https://www.facebook.com/grassrootsbookroom/

Are you excited to explore our local bookstore? You can also download Locomole’s app to explore the vicinity and immerse in Singapore rich culture to better appreciate the local literature subsequently.

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