Activities

BooksActually: Tiong Bahru Bookstore Known For Rare Fiction & SingLit

BooksActually in Tiong Bahru


Image adapted from: @winloon and @pairri_

As convenient as eBooks are, there’s a certain charm to flipping through a hardcopy book. It might be the wafting scent of old paper or the hefty bulk of an epic novel, but whatever it is, print on paper has us feeling all sorts of nostalgia. 

For those who enjoy flipping through books IRL, head down to BooksActually. As one of Singapore’s last remaining brick-and-mortar bookstores, it’s perfect for whiling away lazy afternoons. 


Rare fiction novels & Singaporean literature



As they say, don’t judge a book by its cover but in this case, BooksActually is every bit as quirky as it looks. 
Image credit: @akamsi.sg

Out-of-print books and rare fiction novels are BooksActually’s forte – they’ve got the most obscure of titles up on their shelves. While other big-name stores might stock up on movie-to-book adaptations or NYT’s bestsellers, this indie shop prides themselves on local titles like Harris Bin Potter and the Best New Singaporean Short Stories series. 


Image credit: @akamsi.sg

But of course, they do offer translated classics like The Little Prince and Voltaire’s Candide too. There’s also a mighty large range of Murakami’s more unknown works and even childhood favourites like Mary Poppins and Enid Blyton’s Hurrah for the Circus! – some of the older books are in their OG condition and are one-of-a-kind with just 1 copy available. 


Book vending machine



Image credit: @pairri_

Unique vending machines can be found all over Singapore, and one of them stands right outside BooksActually’s front door. Their book vending machine dispenses books but here’s the catch: these are a wrapped-up mystery so we have no idea what we’re buying. For $19 a book, you could land anything from a SingLit favourite to a graphic novel. 


BooksActually membership


If you find yourself loading up on books on a regular basis, it might be time to join as a BooksActually Member. This doesn’t come cheap at $188/year but it works as a subscription box – they’ll send you 1 locally published book on the 15th of every month. Plus, you’ll get a 10% discount on all regular purchases! 


How to get to BooksActually



Image credit: @veganfoodtrek

BooksActually is roughly an 8-minute walk from Tiong Bahru MRT Station, and you’re likely to stroll by trendy cafes and shops on your way. You’ll spot it easily: it’s got artsy graffiti scrawled on its facade and a colourful hopscotch markings by its doorstep. 

Address: 9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 9AM-7PM | Sun – Mon 9AM-6PM
Telephone: 6222 9195

Website 

Pailin Boonlong

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