First Visit to Books Actually, Singapore

May 14, 2020

Last year, my life was super unexpected. Plans twisted, impromptu travels, and looking for a way to keep myself up for going through everything. But one plan went right: my trip to Singapore. It has been 17 years I hadn't been back to SG (yeaa, I know it's absurd coz Indonesia and Singapore was just 2 hours away by flight). Anyway so I wanted to catch up on how SG had changed since I was a kid and I really wanted to visit one place the most: Books Actually bookshop!


Yay! One bucketlist, checked!

Since my writer's block, seeing great bookshops always have been my motivation to write again. I kept telling myself at heart, "If my next book is published, I want my book to be sold at this bookstore." And I did say that when I finally stood there in front of their glass doors with rainbow stripes at the bottom. Books Actually has that vibe that motivates you to see life with courage and love. You would definitely feel that strong-love-for-literature aura there. Going inside, you'll know why.

Located in Tiong Bahru area, I decided to go there after a good happy breakfast at Tiong Bahru Bakery. Super awesome pastry selections, with good coffee and tea!

The heavenly Tiong Bahru Bakery's Apple Chausson for breakfast

I ate Apple Chausson. Now I missed it already and I'm thinking to get and bring these back with me to Jakarta in my next visit which is hopefully soon. It's sugary on top, but not so sweet, in fact, it's mildly sweet blending perfectly with crunchy pastry with apple sauteed fillings inside. That was my first time trying Apple Chausson and I wasn't disappointed. 

Walking distance from Tiong Bahru Bakery, passing so many artistic murals along with symmetrical white-colored dominated residence complex, I reached to Books Actually. Still in the same district, the bookshop is at no. 9 Yong Siak Street to be exact.


Welcomed by two book vending machines I'd been crazy about, truly I can't describe at this blog post about how happy I was when I finally saw the bookshop with my own eyes. After years of planning, that visit felt like a blessing to me and I'm not exaggerating right now.  

 
The bookshop has the most complete world classic titles. Fiction and literature lovers, this is your must-visit in SG. They also have history books, food narrative, etc, and also I noticed they have so many poem collections. 

Many are coming from independent publishers. I found interesting reads which I couldn't find in Jakarta, but miraculously I did in this bookshop. The most awesome part was also they're supporting SingLit, which is a genre I've been curious about. 


The vibe I mentioned above is the magical feeling. You'll sense it when you visit a bookshop which is run by people who love books and literature. They have a good taste, they could talk about it for you whenever you need a recommendation. And most importantly, they care about how literature, authors and this industry will survive and evolve. 

It's small and intimate. I felt focus to solely enjoy my time there. 

It's really working

Before I left for more adventures, I tried the vending machine. It's my save-the-best-for-last thing at the moment. They welcomed me and this was my way to say goodbye. 

The books are covered in pretty illustrated gift wrap paper. You wouldn't know what you get. this is the fun part! To do this, prepare your SGD $10 banknote for one chance. As a cashless person, I usually don't keep cash, always digital, but I was really lucky I had it at that time. Right time, right moment it is.

Seriously, I want to go back for new titles! The feeling I sensed, I miss it, too.

I'll come back for more!


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