Books Actually

Sometime ago, I had the opportunity to make my maiden visit to Books Actually, a little treasure trove of books in Singapore.

One of my favourite things to do while travelling is to visit little quaint whimsical hideouts for books all over the world. Thus when a fellow friend mentioned this bookshop, which had been oft mentioned in past conversations with other fond literature lovers, I decided that it could be a sudden impulse mid-week adventure.

With Soon Lee’s Rockstar and other vintage shops suddenly popping up like sunflowers in Singapore, vintage is fashionable again, as is old Singapore and chamomile tea. Though overpriced, I thought that Books Actually had quite an exciting collection, and I also spotted some Roland Barthes books which I had been eyeing. But perhaps book lovers secretly always know what they always want. And vintage lovers who have been going on forever (like me) do not develop their likes and tastes in one sitting. The shop also felt somehow modern (the local urbanite) and too well-positioned in its romances, something which always strikes me about the Singapore I live and see today.

But ah well, does the reader understand these secret thoughts?

So I do enjoy Books Actually, together with the host of new little shops emerging in the hippie trend of Haji Lane. But it lacks a bit of the carefree individualistic spirit of Nottinghill Gate markets, the old music scores and books of quiet shops in Prague, and I see the same things in different places being portrayed in various ways.

But who am I to say, the one who blasphemously desires a Kindle.

Have a lovely week, everyone! For Irving, I can’t wait till you return from Taiwan.


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