Buying books in Singapore

Brick-and-mortar bookshops in Singapore (as elsewhere) face high rent and stiff competition from online sellers, so they’ve been dropping like flies. The major chains and a handful independents are still scraping by.

See below for lists of:

  • Book Shops at Bras Basah Complex
  • Other Indie Book Shops in Singapore
  • Local Sources for Children’s Books
  • Local Retail Book Chains
  • Local University Book Shops
  • Local Online Booksellers
  • International Online Booksellers
  • Special Book Sales
  • Person to Person Websites

Book Shops at Bras Basah Complex

At this HDB complex just opposite the National Library, you can find several bookshops, including:

Basheer Graphic Books (new books on art & design)

Evernew Books (used books)

Book Point (used books)

Knowledge Books Centre (used books)

Other Indie Book Shops in Singapore

Books Actually is a literary hub located in Tiong Bahru.

Littered with Books is a general bookshop at Duxton Hill.

Littered with Books

GOHD sells cheap used books as well as rare ones in Burlington Square.

Silver Kris Bookshop sells used books in a stall at the wet market at Marine Parade. Hours are Saturday and Sunday 12 to 7, according to the paper sign.

Sultana Book Store sells used books at Peace Centre.

Sultana Book Store

Book Treasure sells books at Parklane Shopping Mall.

Book Treasure

EMF Bookstore sells used books in Fusionopolis and Holland Village.

First Draft Bookstore sells books at Marina Bay Link Mall.

Ana Book Store sells used books in Far East Plaza at Orchard.

Local Sources for Children’s Books

Woods in the Books is at Tiong Bahru. Books Ahoy is their sister store in Forum Shopping Mall at Orchard.

Junior Page sells children’s books at Alexandra Retail Centre and online.

The Groovy Giraffe sells remaindered children’s books online and offers free shipping for orders over $50.

Closetful of Books sells children’s books online.

Local Retail Book Chains

Kinokuniya is the Japanese bookstore chain that owns the biggest bookshop in Singapore (located in Ngee Ann City at Orchard), as well as a couple of smaller outlets. With a paid membership, you can get some discounts.

Times has a number of outlets, including a 7,000+ sq foot shop at Waterway Point in Punggol. Discount available with paid membership.

MPH (discount available with free membership)

Popular (discount available with paid membership)

Popular (Bras Basah)

Du Yi (some outlets have mostly Chinese books)

Local University Book Shops

NUS Coop at NUS

BookHaven at NUS University Town

Booklink at various other universities

Local Online Booksellers

OO.sg is a comparison shopping site for books.

Retail chain Popular also sells online.

Retail chain Kinokuniya also sells online.

Open Trolley offers paid delivery or free pickup.

Select Books is a distributor of books about Asia.

International Online Booksellers

Amazon’s US site offers free shipping to Singapore on orders over US$125 for items eligible for their special “AmazonGlobal Saver” shipping rate.

Fishpond is an online retailer founded in New Zealand. Prices are marked in SGD (among other currencies). Shipping is free on every order.

Book Depository is an online book retailer founded in the UK. Prices are marked in SGD (among other currencies). Shipping is free on every order.

Special Book Sales

The Singapore Expo sometimes has warehouse sales organized by Penguin, MPH, and Popular. I’ve bought new and nearly new books for SG$5 to SG$10.

Singapore brick-and-mortar retail book chains and traveling booksellers often set up tables in shopping mall hallways. Sometimes the prices are very attractive. I’ve bought nearly new books for prices as low as SG$2. I don’t know of a way to figure out where the sales are going to be before they arrive.

When I worked in the MacPherson area, I used to follow signs to warehouse sales in buildings near my office.

Person to Person Websites

Carousell, Craigslist, and Gumtree are free platforms that help individuals sell stuff to each other. Some of that stuff is books.

Honorable Mention

Not a bookstore, but I found a bunch of interesting books at:

Salvation Army Praisehaven Mega Family Thrift Store
500 Upper Bukit Timah Road, S678106

Not Listed Here

  • shops selling only comics or manga
  • shops selling only non-English language books
  • shops selling only religious books
  • shops that mostly sell other stuff
  • local publishers that sell their own books online
  • shops that have closed permanently

… and shops that for whatever reason I don’t happen to know about.