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Stories from Inspire, Play

Soothe Your Senses and Pique Your Curiosity at These Independent Bookstores in Singapore

by Voices Wellness 04 May 2021
Photo: The Moon

The familiar scent of fresh pages, endless shelves filled with books, and the intoxicating whiff of coffee—there’s nothing like a bookstore visit to soothe your senses during these challenging and frankly exhausting times.  By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.

With the closure of BooksActually’s brick-and-mortar store on Yong Siak Street last September, here are five other independent bookshops to discover in Singapore. Some feature a café so that you can cosy up to your favourite read, a warm drink, and enjoy a quick escapade from your busy schedule.

A good reading habit is said to help prevent cognitive decline as you age, reduce stress, and even fight symptoms of depression—so why not pick up a book today?

Photo: Woods in the Books

Woods in the Books

Located just a few doors down from the now-defunct BooksActually, this adorable bookshop is instantly recognisable thanks to its colourful entrance featuring kid-friendly doodles and a vibrant rainbow peeking out from behind the window grills. Inside, you’ll find a curious collection of picture and illustrated books for all ages, whether it’s Dr. Seuss’s, The Hungry Caterpillar, or Tintin. Children titles by local authors are also available, making it the perfect spot to pick up a gift for the little ones.

More information here.

Photo: The Moon

The Moon 

Tucked away in Chinatown, this multi-concept bookstore features a vegan-friendly café and event space as well. The vibe here is decidedly feminine, with a focus on female authors and SingLit titles, as well as limited-edition, leather-bound classics. Interesting events are held regularly, including blindfold vinyasa yoga classes, tarot card reading sessions, and journaling workshops. Bibliophiles can also opt for their monthly “Blue Moon Box” subscription, which comes with novels, merchandise, and pretty paper goods. 

More information here.

Photo: Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop

Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop

A collaboration between Singapore’s largest independent publisher Epigram Books and Huggs Coffee, this bookshop makes the perfect hangout for those who fancy their books with a side of brew. Aside from an impressive 11-meter-long bookshelf, the space is filled with all things local, from titles to unique merchandise. The wide variety of books spans novels, children’s books, short stories, cookbooks, memoirs, and self-help books. On the café side of things, the signature Singapore-style coffee is best paired with the yummy selection of cakes and pastries.

More information here. 

Photo: Littered With Books

Littered With Books

Bars and restaurants aside, the hip Duxton enclave is also home to Littered with Books, a beautiful double-story space with wood-panelled floors and comfy chairs to read in. The sunlight filters in from the arched windows on the second floor, creating a welcoming ambient for visitors to read and relax in. The collection of books here is extensive, ranging from non-fiction and sci-fi to fantasy and children’s books. Its location in the heart of the CBD also makes it a great hideaway for when it rains or gets too crowded.

More information here.

Photo: Cat Socrates

Cat Socrates 

A cross between a retail store and a bookshop, Cat Socrates has two locations in Singapore, both of which carry a wide variety of local designer goods and titles. Step in and you’ll discover a one-stop-shop for a well-curated section of books, paper paraphernalia, home décor, vintage memorabilia, and more. They’ve got books about mindfulness and self-awareness, comic books, and even photo zines by well-known photographers. Slow and conscious living is encouraged through curiosities like motivation cards, indoor plants, and tote bags as alternatives to plastic bags.

More information here.

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