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Independent Booksellers Week 14 – 21 June


  • SumoMe

By Penny K

14 June marks the start of Independent Booksellers Week. The initiative was started in UK three years ago to celebrate independent booksellers andtheir going against the grain of the big players. There are currently 1,200 independent booksellers in the UK but trading conditions are difficult as stores struggle against giants like Amazon, supermarkets and the cutthroat high street. Last year 102 shops called it quits.

Independent Booksellers are less common in Singapore. The few you find are truly rare gems of paper and wood. Some such are Books Actually and some others found in Bras Basah Complex. Although the big ones like Popular, Times, Borders and Kinokuniya are hard to beat, these independent booksellers have held their own rather well. Most of them have a loyal following and what keeps people coming back is perhaps the noble idea that he or she isn’t contributing to a large corporation. Independent bookstores also tend to be small in size yet big in terms of what they have to offer so the experience of being in a nook surrounded by good things is extremely novel. I mean, you do remember how you felt about The Shop Around The Corner in You’ve Got Mail, don’t you?

If you’d like to embrace Independent Booksellers Week but don’t quite know where to go, here’s a guide that might come in handy.

BooksActually
BooksActually is an independent bookshop that specialises in Literature. They publish books under their imprint Math Paper Press and also hand-stitch notebooks. Located at No. 86 on the very trendy Club Street, BooksActually actually is a favourite haunt of mine. You might therefore think I’m biased, but you need to see it to believe how amazing it is – bring lots of cash, you’ll want to buy everything. In fact, we did a feature on them last year!

Open Mondays to Saturdays, 11am till 9pm; Sundays & public holidays, 12pm till 6pm.

No. 86 Club Street (2F, 3F), Singapore 069454 | 6222 9195 | www.booksactually.com

25 degree Celsius
This place is an interesting combination of a cafe, bar, bookstore and test kitchen. If you’re a foodie and a bookish person, make this place your home. 25 degree Celsius carries an extensive collection of titles relating to cooking. Their assortment of cookbooks is not limited to celebrity chefs – top sellers, special interests, cuisine by the region, cuisine by the ingredient, you name it they have it. Interestingly, they also select dishes from cookbooks they wish to promote and prepare and serve them at the cafe!

Open Monday – Saturday 11am – 7pm; closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

25 Keong Saik Road #01-01, Singapore 089132 | 6327 8389 | www.25degreec.com

Nature’s Niche
Nature’s Niche specialises in nature books and has the best range in the region. Here you’ll find Nature books, magazines, Southeast Asia maps, posters and postcards, pictures. Other merchandise sold include Nature music CDs, Nature DVDs, ecological products, Nature stationery and locally-grown live orchids.

Open daily from 10.30am – 6.30pm; closed Mondays and Public Holidays.

10 Lorong Lada Hitam, Singapore 778793 | 6475 2319 | www.naturesniche.com

Gohd Books
You know this is a good one because it calls itself “A home for the obscure”. Gohd Books is a store that trades new and used, out-of-print and rare books. Officially opened in 2009, Gohd Books used to be at a shophouse along Serangoon Road. Aside from functioning as a bookstore, Gohd Books is also a space for events and gatherings. Today it is located in an elusive-sounding, “much quieter neighbourhood” and operate on a By Appointment Only basis. No worries, you can still obtain books via their online store (www.gohd.com.sg). Here you’ll find books on religion & spirituality, science, mathematics, biographies, classics, and the Beat Generation. I saw a What Would Jesus Buy?, plus they offer free delivery within Singapore, think I’m going to stick around for a bit.

Visit Independent Booksellers Week for more information.

Did we miss out your favourite independent bookseller? Write to us at penny@pennysdaybook.com or leave a comment!

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