Would you like a Latte with that?


Where do you like to do your book shopping? Personally, I like Kinokuniya for its’ broad range, stationery, and 20% discount days. I have always managed to find whatever obscure book I coveted there.

Last week, I was pleasantly surprised by a little bookstore called Bookaburra, nestled at Forum the shopping mall. I was looking to steer Joel away from the Geronimo series, and so asked for suggestions. A cheerful and friendly young lady attended to me. Not only did recommend me several titles, but she went on to explain why she enjoyed them. I left the shop happy, with a bag full of books. Nothing beats personalised service.

What makes a successful bookshop? Revenue may not be solely depended on books. As with a certain large chain, we know CDs may not work either. How about selling flowers alongside books? Nothing like the scent of fresh fleurs to permeate your home while you bury yourself in a page turner. Would you like a latte with that? Setting up a coffee kiosk between Proust and Wilde might bring in the morning birds as well. Other ideas include a book or craft club. There are plenty of lifestyle ideas to explore for the small (or even big) bookshop to bring in the crowd.

Bookshops are shrinking away slowly, and this is something I definitely do not want to see. Long time tenant Big Bookshop at Clementi has been taken over by Art Friend. Kinokuniya is moving to a smaller space this October. Books Actually is having a store wide 25% sale till the end of this month – to raise funds to buy their own shop space so they can stop being at the mercy of their landlord. I find solace walking among the aisles of books and watching my kids do the same. The day becomes a little more special when they can each choose a book to buy.

Some of you might say, why buy when you can borrow? True, but you can read them again at your own leisure, and pass them on to your sibling, or a friend. We have started exchanging and sharing books with one of Joel’s classmate, and this has worked out rather well.

Go on, buy a book today.


Friday Five, Kids’ Favourite Authors


1. Dr. Seuss
When the kids were first starting to learn how to read, they enjoyed “Ten Apples up on Top”, “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” the most. These books are not intimidating at all for the beginner reader. Accompanied with quirky illustrations, it is fun, fun, fun!

2. Julia Donaldson
Donaldson is famous for the Gruffalo, and the Gruffalo’s child. We like almost everything from her, and this includes “Tabby McTat”, “Tiddler” and “Room on the Broom”. She makes a great team with Axel Scheffler, the illustrator.

3. Richard Scarry
Joel loves Huckle and Lowly. It is informative, and a fun read at the same time. His favourites are “The Adventures of Lowly Worm”, “What do People do All Day” and “The Great Pie Robbery”. The little ones quite enjoy watching the “Busytown Mysteries” DVD series as well.

4. Roald Dahl
Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl? I’ve saved my “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach” from my childhood, and Joel is now relishing them.

5. Roger Hargreaves
The stories are so silly, Nic laughs aloud frequently when I read it to her. She’s going through a phase now that she carries her small collection of Mr. Men books wherever she goes! There has been a few launches of children’s clothing recently, featuring the characters, and I got Nic a “Little Miss Chatterbox” tee which she adores.

The list will definitely change as they get older. Can’t wait to introduce them to Enid Blyton, and Beverly Clearly, whose books I enjoyed when I was a kid!

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