The Bookshop Trail in Singapore (click to watch)
Every bookstore carries the often little-known literary aspirations of the owners. Scattered across the island state, these bookstores help to build Singapore’s cultural foundation while leaving footprints from their historical interactions. These footprints form a portrait of the crossing of the paths of the literati, the bookstores and the readers.
– Passage of Time, Singapore Book Stories 1881-2016
Every bookshop visited is a significant cultural, literary and historical barometer of the multiculturally rich Singapore we know today. Bookshops have always been the place I run to whenever I need a safe space to hide. I find comfort and warmth in a bookshop’s embrace. Quite like my mother’s arms. I went on a bookshop-hopping adventure across our tiny island – just a few weeks after watching Between The Lines: Rant & Rave, a play tracing our nation’s history of bookstores and policies in promoting our culture of reading from past to present. I did this partly for assignment reasons, but mostly out of own accord since I have always wanted to go on this little personal learning journey. Decided to follow The Paper Trail route organised by SWF just the other day. Added a few stops. Got lost along the way. Bagged a couple of books (of course). I found respite in every bookshop; chatting with booksellers, touching the paperbacks and hardcovers, unwinding in the intermingling of ideas and lives and imagination bounded by paper, discovering unseen nooks and crannies and simply immersing myself in the company of books. It took me about 3 to 4 hours to complete the trail. Here’s the route I took:
BooksActually (Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru) | Woods in the Books (Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru) | Grassroots Bookroom (Nearest MRT: Outram Park) | GGS Books & Stationery (Nearest MRT: Little India) | Basheer Graphic Books (Nearest MRT: Bugis) | Wardah Books (Nearest MRT: Bugis) | Booktique (Nearest MRT: City Hall).
If you need a coffee and cake break, there are plenty of cafes around, all within walking distance. You’ll know when you go on the bookshop trail around town 🙂
Have fun exploring!