There’s a lot to take in at Books Actually in Tiong Bahru, Singapore. Like the floor-to-ceiling selection of rad indie magazines (Swallow, Cherry Bombe, Encounters, Looklateral), new works by big hitters Haruki Murakami and Chuck Palahniuk, volumes of poetry from the shop’s progressive Math Paper Press imprint, and limited-run eye candy from local creatives like Holycrap.sg. The shelves are hung with cross-stitched quotes and postcards featuring lit icons like Donna Tartt and Kobo Abe. The back room is mostly vintage bric-a-brac, including 1970s glassware and miniature pencil-and-eraser sets from Japan, plus secondhand books priced at $5 SGD a piece ($3.55 USD). There’s even a “mystery book” vending machine outside and a pay-what-you-wish book stack near the check-out counter.
This is one of Asia’s finest bookstores and you could easily lose yourself for hours. Locals should consider subscribing to the Books Actually Box, a monthly club that pairs hand-picked titles with special gifts like soy candles and tea blends. A three-month subscription starts at $129 SGD ($92).
9 Yong Siak St., Singapore; +65-6222-9195.