Top Bookstores in Singapore

Top Bookstores in Singapore

Books are loved by many for a plethora of reasons. For some, it can be a form of escapism, where one can enter a whole different world and experience multiple realities with just a flip of a book. Or for others, it can just be a fun hobby. So, where do you go when you want to find a book? A bookstore, of course. 

Most popular genres in fiction

Just like in film and cinema, books have genres of their own as well. While the list of genres is nearly endless, here are some of the most common genres in fiction. 

Action and Adventure 

Before action-packed films even existed, there were books. Until today, action and adventure books are still popular amongst audiences of different ages as it almost acts as a visual movie in your head that keeps you at the edge of your seat, the same way that a film would. Popular titles from this genre include Life of Pi, The Three Musketeers, and The Call of the Wild. 


Classic novels are known to be a genre of its own as they have been around for decades, serving as the foundation for many well-known novels that we know of today—think of the classics as novels that paved the way for the aspiring authors we know today. These classics are considered to be timeless as they often had a huge impact during the time it was published, and continued to be impactful to the generations that came after. Some of the renowned authors of classic novels include Jane Austen, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. 


This one is for the hopeless romantics. According to a survey conducted by the Huffington Post, people enjoy reading romance novels for entertainment and relaxation purposes. In fact, some even use it as a form of escapism from the real world—a momentary get away from reality. Some romance novels are light-hearted, while others are more dark and despairing. Some of the best famous romance novels in literary history include Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook; Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights; and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park

Suspense and Thriller 

Suspense and thriller novels are basically the equivalents of horror movies in book form. In the same way, where people watch horror movies for the thrills and suspense, readers read this particular genre for the same reason. Examples of popular suspense and thriller books are Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs. 

Fantasy and Science Fiction

Fantasy novels are built around an entirely different world from our own. This genre focuses on imaginary elements that can range from its setting, location, and even its characters. More often than not, authors of fantasy or science fiction books build their stories around magic, mythological creatures, alternate universes, superpowers, and all things fantasy—the possibilities are absolutely endless. Some popular titles from this genre include The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. 

Top Bookstores in Singapore

Have physical bookstores been affected by the digital shift?

Over the last 20 years, the advancement of technology has progressed at such a groundbreaking rate, which has left many industries of business across the globe with no choice but to adapt to the digital shift—failure to do so would most likely result in the business falling behind its competitors drastically. 

In the same way, physical bookstores and publishers have been gravely affected by this as well. When Amazon released the first edition of the Kindle in 2007, the light and hand-held electronic device specifically made for reading books, it pushed the envelope and changed the way people read books. Some even say that the invention of the Kindle is what made electronic books mainstream. 

With that, it is safe to say that the prevalence of electronic books and even podcasts has caused a significant decline in print books around the world. Despite this, several studies, including an article from Good Reader stated that electronic books were “merely a passing fad”, and people are returning to print books despite the availability of electronic and digital options. This proves that there are still certain industries that can withstand the digital shift. 

Why do most readers still prefer physical books? 

You would think that readers would choose electronic books or podcasts as their medium of choice when digesting a new book. However, it is quite the opposite for most. Many articles and studies across different countries have constantly proved that people still prefer physical books. But, why is this so? 

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Reading is a sensory experience 

First and foremost, reading is a sensory experience. In spite of the abundance of digital options that are more convenient for readers in terms of portability, people still long for the feeling of a book in the palm of their hands. The book itself is something you can touch and feel; the material of the paper is something you can smell, and the flipping of the pages is something you can hear. The visual and multi-sensory experience of reading a book still cannot compare to reading a book through pixels. 

There is an art form behind the act of reading 

There are many art forms that are involved in making a physical book. For instance, the act of creating a book is an art form on its own, which is something that takes years of skill to master. The engineering and craftsmanship that goes into creating a book—from binding the pages together, the creation of the cover, and even the typography used is art. No current technology can replicate the impression of a printed page in terms of resolution and physical appearance. 

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They help children become better readers 

Multiple studies have shown that children between the ages of three and five tend to have lower comprehension of a story when their parents read to them from an electronic book, as opposed to a physical book. Researchers have found that reading from electronic devices are actually more distracting from children and gives them more difficulty in concentrating on the story. Other studies suggest that children also have a harder time staying engaged when reading from an e-book, proving the print books are still more effective in developing a child’s literary abilities. 

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Times Bookstore Top Bookstores in Singapore


Times Bookstore 

Speciality Times Bookstore is now unquestionably one of the most recognisable literary brands in all of Singapore. Times actually started life as a humble terminal book shop in the city’s Changi Airport, but now offers several unique spaces around town, where customers can browse collections of best-sellers and academic books alike whilst lounging on cosy furniture in a chilled-out setting.
Address Various locations nationwide including Marina Square, Plaza Singapore and Waterway Point
Telephone Varies depending on the location
Operating Hours Varies depending on the location


Kinukoniya Top Bookstores in Singapore


Kinokuniya Singapore 

Speciality Attracting more than two million visitors every year, Kinokuniya is Singapore’s largest bookstore. Kinokuniya offers thousands of titles in several different languages, including English, Chinese, German and French, as well as Japanese comics and Taiwanese magazines to boot. This bookshop provides a huge selection of books and magazines that can be difficult to find elsewhere, making it something of the perfect addition to this cosmo metropolis!
Address Various locations nationwide including Takashimaya, Bugis Junction, and JEM
Telephone  Varies depending on the location
Operating Hours 11:00am – 9:00pm daily


Popular Bookstore Top Bookstores in Singapore


Popular Bookstore

Speciality Popular is the largest and oldest bookstore chain based in Singapore with an extensive selection of books of all genres, from novels, science fiction books to non-fiction books like business books, biography books, travel guides, language guidebooks, to parenting books and cookbooks. Newspapers, magazines, music CDs, stationery, and computer accessories are also available at their stores.
Address Various locations nationwide including Bras Basah Complex, United Square, and Compass One Mall
Telephone Varies depending on the location
Operating Hours Varies depending on the location


Books Actually Top Bookstores in Singapore



Speciality BooksActually stocks the largest collection of English literature books with rare and unique titles of Murakami, Salinger, Capote, Nabokov, and Sweeney. You can also find many local novels of Singaporean authors. Aside from the classic titles, the bookstore also carries narrative and theoretical books in the disciplines of philosophy, political science, history, biography, science, travel, food, art and more.

While they have indefinitely closed their physical store, they continue to operate online through their website.

Address 44 Upper Weld Road
Operating Hours Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Closed on Weekends


Woods in the books Top Bookstores in Singapore


Wood in the Books 

Speciality If pages full of words bore you, check out this shop that specialises in picture books. Woods in the Books offers a feast of pictorial treasures, including works by award-winning French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé – known simply as Sempé – plus quirky graphic novels, the popular 1980s Malaysian series Lat, pop-up versions of The Little Prince and of course, classic children’s books like Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are.
Address 3 Yong Siak Street
Telephone 6222 9980
Operating Hours Monday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm


Huggs Epigram Top Bookstores in Singapore


Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop 

Speciality The Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop is a concept store by Epigram Books and Huggs Coffee. Occupying 980 square feet, it is the only bookshop offering solely Singapore books; that is, books about Singapore, books written by Singaporean authors or books published by Singaporean publishers.

They currently stock over 600 titles by publishers all across Singapore that span the genres—novels, children’s books, short stories, cookbooks, memoirs, self-help, you name it.

Address 45 Maxwell Road, #01-01
6292 4456
Operating Hours Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 5:30pm
Closed on Weekends


Basheer Top Bookstores in Singapore


Basheer Graphics 

Speciality Basheer Graphic Books is no stranger amongst the art types in Bras Basah. A regular haunt for graphic designers and illustrators, the bookstore stocks the best and latest in disciplines that range from graphics and architecture to fashion and animation. There are also regular discounts offered on specialised magazines and publications.
Address Bras Basah Complex #04-19, 231 Bain Street
Telephone 6336 0810
Operating Hours Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 7:00pm


City Book Room Top Bookstores in Singapore


City Book Room

Speciality Tucked away on the third floor of the unassuming North Bridge Centre across the National Library Building, you’ll find this charming, wood-furnished bookstore with its warm lights emanating a soft glow.

Here’s where you can burrow down peacefully with a good book without the obnoxious crowds; pick from titles of fiction, poetry, history and social critique. Dedicated to sustaining and further preserving the Chinese culture, their wooden shelves are mostly stocked with Chinese titles, including translated versions of Math Paper Press favourites.

Address 420 North Bridge Road, #03-10, North Bridge Centre
Telephone 6901 1583
Operating Hours 12:00pm – 7:00pm


The Moon Top Bookstores in Singapore


The Moon Bookstore 

Speciality A bookstore, event and café space all in one, The Moon is a whimsical space that brings you into the library of your favourite chronicles with a wide variety of genres from modern literature to illustrated cooking books and thought-provoking non-fiction reads for you to browse through.

With its warm lighting, wood furniture and comfy plush cushions sprawled across the reading room on the third floor, The Moon is the newest and coolest spot for an afternoon read with a cup of coffee in hand.

Website 37 Mosque Street
Operating Hours Monday – Thursday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Friday – Sunday: 9:30am – 8:30pm


Select Books Top Bookstores in Singapore


Select Books 

Speciality Direct your “intellectual” friend who uses words like postmodern in everyday conversation to this e-bookstore. While Select Books is known to be more of a publisher and distributor, you can get lots of nerdy, weighty books about Southeast Asian history and culture here.

For those among us who possess the dexterity to delve into higher academic rigour, take your pick from a vast array of Asian titles, local and regional.

Address 65A Jalan Tenteram, #02-06 St Michael’s Industrial Estate
Telephone 6251 3798


Littered with books Top Bookstores in Singapore


Littered With Books 

Speciality Tucked away on Duxton Road, Littered with Books is a charming little book store set over two levels packed with tomes and volumes of all kinds, shapes, sizes and genres, from mystery-novels to classics and children’s books.

This book store, which holds regular book launches and reading events, is a paradise for every bookworm and is a serious must on any literary tour through the city of Singapore.

Address 20 Duxton Road
Telephone 6220 6824
Operating Hours Monday – Thursday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm
Friday: 12:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 8:00pm


Books Ahoy Top Bookstores in Singapore


Books Ahoy 

Speciality Look for the vibrant illustrations in their Forum The Shopping Mall storefront, almost as if charming drawings come to life, and dive right into their colourful world of illustrated picture and chapter books for early and independent readers.

Pick from a well-rounded curated selection, but expect more than just your ordinary titles— bestsellers like Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is sure to make the perfect bedtime read for your future revolutionary.

Address 583 Orchard Rd, 02-03 Forum The Shopping Mall
Telephone 6684 0138
Operating Hours 10:00am – 7:00pm daily


The French Bookshop Top Bookstores in Singapore


The French Bookshop 

Speciality With new and used books, this bookstore specializes in French-language books. Whether you’re a novice learning French or French native speaker, The French Bookshop has what you need.

The French Bookshop sells all genres of French literature, with a special penchant for both the classics and modern additions to the country’s literary canon. Inside, the decor is stylish and calm; perfectly inviting for those who simply want to browse through Flaubert et al

Address 55 Tiong Bahru Road
Operating Hours Wednesday – Saturday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 3:00pm
Monday – Tuesday: Closed


Earshot Cafe Top Bookstores in Singapore


Earshot Cafe 

Speciality Holding regular events such as writers’ talks and book launches, this bright little bookstore and café supports Singaporean arts and culture at a grass-roots level.

Located inside the Singapore Arts House, this is a local favourite that’s great for hitting to simply browse through the cutting-edge side of the country’s literary talent, enjoy a coffee and chat with locals of a similar mindset.

Address 1 Old Parliament Lane, The Arts House
Telephone 6338 8220
Operating Hours 11:00am – 9:00pm daily


Gohd Top Bookstores in Singapore


GOHD Books 

Speciality Fancy yourself a highbrow intellectual? Gohd Books is your place to be; its shelves are stocked with antiquarian and rare books, leather-bound and pages well-aged. Gently page through books like Da Vinci’s Codex Madrid (a super rare book of his inventions), trace your finger along with the ornate gold gilt on the spines of George Eliot’s Romola, and train your eye on rare Japanese reproduction prints.

Surrounded by masterpieces probably older than your grandparents. Currently only operating online, simply peruse their offerings through their website.

Address 175 Bencoolen Street, #01-37 Burlington Square
Telephone 9090 6181


Editor’s Note:

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About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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