Singapore's best independent bookstores

A few good options.

What we say: 3.5 stars

Singapore’s an ideal place to stock up on fresh English-language reading material. You will find bookstores in the shopping malls, but true bookworms will want to support these independent bookstores specialising in quirky reads and works by local authors.

Pick up a book by a Singaporean author.

Pick out a new book by a Singaporean author.

Singapore’s hands-down best independent bookstore is Books Actually in the hip Tiong Bahru neighbourhood. Opened in 2005, this is the place to go for obscure titles, collector’s editions or anything written by a Singaporean – they have the largest collection of local literature, including poetry, essays, short stories and magazines. Best yet is the on-going promotion where you get a 20 percent discount if you purchase three or more books.
9 Yong Siak Street, T: 6222 9195, www.booksactually.com

Just a few doors down from Books Actually is picture book specialist Woods in the Books. Their shelves are stocked with anything illustrated ranging from childhood favourites like Where the Wild Things Are to graphic novels like the Optic Nerve series by Adrian Tomine. With beautiful murals adorning the walls and a homey atmosphere it’s a great place to browse, though it’s hard to resist picking up one of the Singapore picture books as a souvenir.
3 Yong Siak Street, T: 6222 9980, www.woodsinthebooks.sg

Books Actually is a bookworm's paradise.

Books Actually is a bookworm’s paradise.

Set in a restored shophouse in the trendy Ann Siang Hill area, Littered with Books is another paradise for bookworms. Its two floors are filled with every genre from classics to mystery novels to children’s lit, and they have an excellent selection of contemporary Singaporean fiction by authors like Catherine Lim. Check their Facebook page for upcoming literary events like book readings and launches.
20 Duxton Road, T: 6220 6824

If you’re looking for secondhand books, the place to go is the Bras Basah Complex. There are at least 20 bookstores here selling new and used books, but my top pick is Evernew Bookstore on the ground level which sells novels for as little as S$2. I’ve written about the Bras Basah Complex before.
231 Bain Street, www.bras-basah-complex.com.sg

Last updated: 15th November, 2014

About the author:
Tanya Procyshyn is a Singapore-based freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea. She blogs at www.idreamofdurian.com.
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