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10 Indie Bookstores In SG You Can Visit To Support The Local Arts Scene


Shasha Dania •  Oct 22, 2020


With the recent news that everyone's favourite local indie bookstore BooksActually is shifting operations fully online, we can understand if the other bookworms out there feel a bit panicky! But fret not because there are still so many indie bookstores in Singapore you can patronise and support right now. ? From Islamic texts to children's books to comics (and even one with a feline shopkeeper awaiting your arrival!), these top 10 indie bookstores in Singapore have just what you're looking for. Who knows - you might even find your next favourite author! ?
1. Wardah Books
If you're planning a literary journey around Singapore, Wardah Books has got to be at the top of your list! ? This Bussorah Street bookstore is located in the heart of Kampong Gelam, with shelves stocked with Sufism, Islamic history and philosophy, modern critical theory, and even Singapore literature. They even have a collection of children's books about Islam! P.S. Check out our feature on Wardah Books to find out more about this iconic bookstore. They've also been hosting online author sessions throughout this period - you can find out more information on their Facebook and Website. ? Opening hours: Sun-Fri; 10AM-6PM, Sat; 10AM-9PM Address: 58 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199474 Contact: +65 62971232 or WhatsApp +65 96583677 Website | Facebook | Instagram
2. Basheer Graphic Books
Bras Basah Complex is known to be a favourite haunt for art students, so it totally makes sense that Basheer Graphic Books is located here! You'll find first-hand books on all things art and graphics-related, including but not limited to architecture, photography, graphic design, and even movie and comic art. ? Perfect for your next big art project - or for a quick IG-worthy snap of their overflowing shelves and black and white checkered floors! P.S. Here are even more hidden gems in the Bugis area you need to check out! Opening hours: Mon-Sat; 10AM-8PM, Sun; 10AM-7PM Address: 231 Bain St, #04-19 Bras Basah Complex, Singapore 180231 Contact: +65 63360810 Website | Facebook | Instagram
3. Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop
Located in the middle of Singapore's Central Business District, the Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop is the brainchild of local publishing outlet Epigram and local coffee chain Huggs. What sets them apart from the other spots on this list is they only sell Singapore books! Whether fiction, non-fiction, children's books, cookbooks or more - this is your one-stop shop for all things #SingLit. ? Stop for a moment and browse their gorgeous sprawling bookshelf display - you might discover your new favourite author! P.S. Huggs Coffee opens from 7AM onwards Mon-Sat, and sells a variety of beverages and light bites. As Huggs is not halal-certified, we recommend that you dine at your own discretion or Opening hours: Mon-Fri; 10AM-5.30PM, Sat; 10AM-4PM (Closed Sundays, PH) Address: 45 Maxwell Rd #01-01, Singapore 069118 Website | Facebook | Instagram
4. The Moon
Wander around the streets of Chinatown and you might almost miss this hidden gem tucked away in a heritage shophouse. The Moon is a cozy, welcoming spot that highlights works by non-mainstream authors, with a focus on female writers and people of colour from around the world. You'll find books across all genres - from fiction and graphic novels to politics, poetry, cookbooks, children's books and more! Personally I've only had great interactions with the staff too. ? They're super warm and friendly, and will give you personal recommendations if you have a particular idea or theme in mind. P.S. If you'd like to stay and hang out for a while, there's a comfy and homely seating area on the second floor, and a cafe on the first floor. The cafe sells drinks, vegan/vegetarian-friendly toasts and a selection of pastries and cakes too. Although no alcohol or meat-based items are sold at the cafe, it is not halal-certified so we recommend that you dine at your own discretion. If in doubt, we advise that you seek other alternatives like these 10 halal eateries in Chinatown! Opening hours: Mon-Thurs; 11AM-6PM, Fri-Sun; 9.30AM-8.30PM Address: 37 Mosque St, Singapore 059515 Website | Instagram
5. Littered With Books
Littered With Books is an independent bookstore located in a gorgeous conservation shophouse along Duxton Road. You'll find everything across their 2-storey spread from classic authors like Margaret Atwood and Ernest Hemingway, to cooking books, to local authors, to fantasy and sci-fi. They also have a generous selection of children and Young Adult options. Fans of crime, fantasy, sci-fi, and thriller will definitely need to check out the themed display on 2nd floor! P.S. Photographs are not allowed inside the store, but we figure you'll be too busy browsing the stacks to snap photos anyway. ? Opening hours: Mon-Fri; 12PM-8PM, Sat-Sun; 11AM-8PM Address: 20 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089486 Contact: +65 62206824 Facebook | Instagram
6. Cat Socrates
Tucked away amongst the shophouses of Katong and Joo Chiat, you'll find the charming Cat Socrates complete with its feline shopkeeper! They have a selection of books and magazines from local publishing houses like Math Paper Press and Epigram Books, as well as self-published local and Asian writers. You'll also find a wide variety of locally-designed items from home decor, kitchenware, bags & fashion accessories, paper paraphernalia, pots & plants, vintage items and more! ? P.S. Remember to say hello to its kitty shopkeeper Zoo-Zoo during your visit! Zoo-Zoo can be found waiting by the door for the next customer to walk in, and he's even known to follow you around while you browse. While customers currently can't pet Zoo-Zoo due to safe distancing requirements, catching a glimpse of this sleepy kitty is worth the trip. ? They also have a 2nd outlet at Tiong Bahru. Joo ChiatOpening hours: Mon; 11AM-6PM, Tues-Fri; 11AM-8.30PM, Sat; 11AM-9PM, Sun & PH; 11AM-7.30PM Address: 448 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427661 Contact: +65 63480863 Tiong Bahru Opening hours: Mon; 10AM-6PM, Tues-Thurs; 10AM-7PM, Fri-Sat; 10AM-8PM, Sun & PH; 9AM-6PM Address: 78 Yong Siak St #01-14, Singapore 163078 Contact: +65 63330870 Website | Instagram
7. Woods in the Books / Books Ahoy!
Nestled in the heart of Tiong Bahru is Woods in the Books, a bookstore dedicated to indie children's books you won't find at Popular or MPH. Specialising in picture or other illustrated books, their wide variety of books are a great way to get your little ones interested in reading. It's a lifelong habit worth picking up! ? Their 2nd outlet, Books Ahoy!, specialises in picture and chapter books that will enchant slightly older readers. Though children's books are still the mainstay here, older children or tweens will be able to find titles from literary giants like Roald Dahl to local series like the Sengkang Snoopers and Sherlock Sam. Woods in the BooksOpening hours: Tues-Fri; 10AM-7PM, Sat; 10AM-8PM, Sun-Mon; 10AM-6PM Address: 3 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168642 Contact: +65 88152446 or +65 62229980 Books Ahoy! Opening hours: Open daily; 10AM - 7PM Address: 583 Orchard Rd, Forum #02-03, Singapore 238884 Contact: +65 66840138 Website | Facebook | Instagram
8. Buat Si Manja
Buat Si Manja is an online bookstore specialising in Islamic books for kids, but they also have an outlet in Changi's East Village Mall you can visit. ? You'll find plenty of picture books related to Islam, and even soft books that infants can enjoy! They don't just have children and teen books either - popular bestsellers for adults like 'The Heart of the Qur'an' and 'Lessons from Surah al-Kahf' can be found here too! Check out their selection of playmats, stationery, and other novelties all meant to help your kids learn more about Islam too. Opening hours: Tues-Thurs; 12PM-8PM, Fri-Sun; 12PM-9PM (Closed Mondays) Address: 430 Upper Changi Rd, East Village Mall #01-56, Singapore 486936 Contact: +65 91305343 Website | Facebook | Instagram
9. Comics World Singapore
Comic lovers, you absolutely have to visit Comics World Singapore ASAP! ? This small bookstore in Park Lane Shopping Mall is one of the best places to pick up comic books in Singapore - from classic plotlines to brand-new arrivals. Whether you're a DC fanatic, Marvel maniac, or an indie comics fan, you'll find what you're looking for here. New arrivals and pre-orders can be found on their website, or you can drop by their store and browse the shelves for yourself! Opening hours: Mon-Sat; 12PM-8PM, Sun & PH; 1.30PM-6PM Address: 35 Selegie Rd, Park Lane Shopping Mall #B1-22, Singapore 188307 Contact: +65 63396413 Website | Facebook
10. Evernew Book Store
This might be the oldest indie bookstore on our list! Established in 1988, Evernew Book Store has resided at its Bugis location for over 30 years. If you've walked past their store before you might have noticed the Cultural Revolution-themed paraphernalia decorating the shop display, but wander further in and you'll find a wide variety of English and Chinese secondhand books looking for a new home. ? From pulp novels to non-fiction to fantasy and more, their narrow shelves are packed with just about anything you can imagine. Opening hours: Mon-Sat; 11AM-7.30PM, Sun & PH; 11AM-6.30PM Address: 231 Bain St, Bras Basah Complex #01-07, Singapore 180231 Contact: +65 63381753 Website | Facebook It's never too late to start hitting your reading goals! ?