Last December, I travelled to Singapore and Japan on a trip where I got to explore my roots culturally and spiritually. In Singapore, my friend and badass librarian recommended that I visit a bookstore called ‘Books Actually’ in the local neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru. My mum and I traversed through a tropical monsoon (well, really, really, heavy rain) like a lightning thunderstorm there and oh my lord my bookshop soulmate was waiting for me.
The storefront was covered with an illustration of a tree sprouting open books and a quaint BOOK VENDING MACHINE sat in front. We stepped inside the doors bearing ‘love is love’ in giant, rainbow letters, our clothes still dripping. Books were stacked everywhere with so many colours and little artefacts everywhere. Manga illustrations decorated the walls and the not so faint humming of the ever-turning overhead fan made everything so comforting after a war through the storm.
And then I saw them
IN THE BOOKSHOP.
AAAAHHHH SO THEY ALL HAD NAMES AND LOUNGED ABOUT ONE WAS CALLED LEMON. THEY HAD THEIR OWN MERCHANDISE. I followed one to a back room where there was a collection of antique artefacts. Piles of 80’s coke bottles, disposable cameras, Singaporean records and other bits and bobs. There were also an enormous collection of international books and old, musty books that are so pleasing to the eye. I spotted a maths textbook in French.
Books Actually also features many Singaporean authors and arty collections. I nabbed myself a collection of stories, one of a series called ‘Balik Kampung’ written by well-known Singaporean writers on their lives in Singapore.
It was a whirl wind of emotions being there and with the intense humidity that is so characteristic of Singapore and makes your head spin, the whole thing seems like a dream.
sorry the pics are weird ://