Bookworms and writers, this one’s for you. Looking for somewhere to read or write without distraction? These quiet spots are great for getting lost in a good book…
This is for the bookworms and the bibliophiles, and everyone else who’s always on the lookout for places in Singapore to chill with a good book and read (or jot down your thoughts) till the sun sets. There’s always your 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 judgy eyes). So we’re letting you in on our favourite places to read 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.
Situated in the serene Tiong Bahru, PS.Cafe Petit is smaller… but quieter than its other outlets, making it a perfect spot to curl up with a good book on a slow weekend. Before you start turning the pages, order a glass of vino and grab a seat near the glass panels for natural light.
PS.Cafe Petit, #01-41, Block 78 Guan Chuan Street, Singapore 160078
Make full use of the fact that the CBD becomes a ghost town during the weekends by heading to one of our favourite coffeehouses, Sarnies. Plus, it has an alfresco area so you can enjoy the rare quiet moments. As you devour that page-turner in one sitting, order an invigorating cup of joe or brunch fare like avo toast and eggs benedict to keep you going.
Sarnies, 136 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068601
We say this pastel-themed reading room and tea salon (pictured top) is one of the most chillax places to spend an afternoon. It’s located on the ground floor of a Beach Road shophouse and is a partnership between The Lo & Behold Group and local tea company, A.muse Projects, which means you get to try a beautifully curated tea menu as you browse through rows of interesting titles. Tea service operates on a tip basis.
Looksee Looksee, 267 Beach Road, Singapore 199545
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 that mainly stocks Chinese books, but head to the back of the store to find the 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
Located right in the heart of Chinatown, this whimsical bookstore is also home to a cafe. Don’t know what to read? Why not take a pick from the carefully curated collection of female writers and get a slice of cake from the dessert counter for fuel. Fair warning: You might lose yourself in this feel-good, light-filled, cushion-strewn nook.
The Moon, 37 Mosque Street, Singapore 059515
The Book Cafe
As its name suggests, this is a book-themed cafe that serves casual dining alongside a diverse selection of reading materials that you can browse through. It also offers free wi-fi and powerpoints, 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 the fluffy couches; they tend to be a favourite amongst other like-minded book lovers.
The Book Cafe, #01-02, Seng Kee Building, Robertson Quay, 20 Martin Road, Singapore 239070
Nothing beats reading while surrounded by 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, as the space is gorgeous and it offers plenty of outdoor seating on benches and rattan chairs! So pair your book with some delicious brunch and coffee, then get ready to while your weekend away.
Wheeler’s Estate, 2 Park Lane, Singapore 798386
Lasalle’s resident cafe may no longer span two stories, but its cosy new space with large glass windows is still great for reading and light munches. Seats and power plugs are aplenty, so you can do some work on your laptop thanks to the free wi-fi – but take note that couches get snapped up by early birds. Our tip? Grab a scoop of gelato as you read on.
Lowercase, Blk D, #01-01, Lasalle, 1 McNally Street, Singapore 187940
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 ‘anti cafe’ but it comes complete with plenty of amenities (snacks and drinks, Xbox, board games, everyone’s BFF that is the wi-fi…) and only charges an hourly or daily rate. Books are more than welcome here, and you can stay for as long as you want.
Coffeemin, #02-01, Orchard Gateway, 277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858
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 (plus points if the aesthetics are on point). And don’t ignore the heartlands either: Jurong Regional Library and Tampines Regional Library tick the boxes with their well-lit designated reading spaces. Feeling artsy? Plonk yourself down on one of the sofa seats at [email protected] and browse through the large selection of arts-related books.
National libraries, various locations islandwide.