Bookworms and writers, this one’s for you. Looking for somewhere to read or indulge in some writing without distraction? Here are our fave spots around Singapore for getting lost in a good book…
This is for the bookworms and bibliophiles, and everyone else who’s always on the lookout for places in Singapore to chill with a book and read (or jot down your thoughts) till the sun sets. There’s always the neighbourhood cafe, but (a) you probably have to jostle for seats on the weekend, and (b) you might end up outstaying your welcome (cue the judgey eyes). So we’re letting you in on our favourite places for reading to your heart’s content, from dedicated reading rooms to hip book cafes and even pay-to-use hangout spots. We think Fitzgerald would have approved.
We say this pastel-themed reading room and tea salon (pictured top) is one of the most chillax places to be at. It’s located on the ground floor of a Beach Road shophouse and is a partnership between The Lo & Behold Group and local specialty tea company, A.muse Projects, which means you get to try a beautifully curated tea menu as you browse through rows of interesting reading titles. Tea service operates on a tip basis.
Looksee Looksee, 267 Beach Road, Singapore 199545. Open 10am to 6pm (Mon to Fri), 1pm to 5pm (Sat). Closed on Sun and Public Holidays.
Open Book Cafe at Grassroots Bookroom
There are plenty of independent bookstores over the island, but not all of them come with their own cafes, which is why we’re particularly fond of Grassroots Bookroom at Bukit Pasoh. It’s a quaint little place which mainly stocks Chinese books, but head to the end of the store where you can find their cafe with a cosy retro vibe. Grab a hot tea, whip out your book and settle in for a serious reading session.
Grassroots Bookroom, 25 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089839.
LASALLE’s resident cafe has got a recent revamp, and while it no longer spans two stories, this cosy new space with the large glass windows remains great for reading and light munches. Seats and powerplugs are aplenty, so you can do some work on your laptop thanks to the free wifi – couches get snapped up by early birds. Our tip? Grab a scoop of their famous gelato as you read away; Cocktail Caribbean is a crowd-pleaser with its refreshing flavours of pineapple and coconut.
Lowercase, 1 McNally Street, Blk D #01-01, Singapore 187940. Open 9.30am to 10pm (Mon to Sat), 9.30am to 3pm (Sun). p.63375581
The Book Cafe
As its name suggests, this is a book-themed cafe which serves casual dining alongside a diverse selection of reading materials that you can browse through. There’s also free wi-fi and powerpoints available so you bring your laptop if you’re working on some writing of your own. Come earlier if you hope to grab a spot on one of their fluffy couches; they tend to be a favourite amongst other like-minded book lovers.
The Book Cafe, 20 Martin Road, #01-02 Seng Kee Building, Robertson Quay, Singapore 239070. Open 8.30am to 10.30pm (Sun to Thurs), 8.30am to 12.30 midnight (Fri and Sat).
Nothing beats reading while soaking in some flora and fauna, which makes Wheeler’s Estate at Seletar Aerospace Park the perfect place for lazy Sunday afternoons. It’s slightly off the grid but we promise it’s worth it, being aesthetically gorgeous and there’s plenty of outdoor seating, be it on benches or rattan chairs! So pair your book with some delicious brunch and coffee, and be prepared to while your weekends away.
Wheeler’s Estate, 2 Park Lane, Singapore 798386. Alfresco by the Lawn open 3pm to 11pm (Tues to Fri) and 9am to 11pm (Sat and Sun).
The CBD gets a little quiet on weekends, but if you are looking for a place to read freely, it might mean jackpot for you. We love the cozy vibes of Shop Wonderland and the botanical-themed decor is so on point, given that there’s also a floral studio on the second floor. Take your book here and read away; it’s a bit more chilled on the weekends, so you can enjoy your stories with a great coffee and slice of one of their amazing cakes till closing time.
Shop Wonderland, 134 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068600. Open Tues to Wed (8am to 6pm), Thurs to Fri (8am to 10pm), Sat (8am to 6pm) and Sun (10am to 6pm).
Coffeemin (Jcube and Clarke Quay)
Co-working offices are all the rage nowadays, and this pay-per-use concept has also weaved itself into Singapore’s cafe culture. Okay, Coffeemin actually labels itself as an ‘anticafe’ but it comes complete with plenty of amenities (snacks and drinks, xbox, board games, everyone’s BFF that is the wifi…) and all you are charged is an hourly or daily rate. Books are more than welcome here, and you can stay for as long as you want so you don’t have to worry about judging looks from other cafe patrons.
Coffemin, outlets at JCube and Clarke Quay.
Rediscover your local library…
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we truly believe libraries to be worthy of a shoutout, especially those with plenty of seating areas (more plus points if the aesthetics are on point). And don’t ignore the heartlands: Jurong Regional Library and Tampines Regional Library tick the boxes with all those well-lit designated reading spaces. Feeling artsy? Plonk yourself at library@esplanade where there is a large selection of arts-related books and lots of sofa seats.
National libraries, various locations islandwide.
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