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City Book Room

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City Book Room Joo Chiat
Photograph: City Book Room

Time Out says

For those concerned about hard copy books going out of print, there lies an inconspicuous brick-and-mortar bookstore that’s in the heart of Joo Chiat. This independent bookstore is housed in a residential building – but finding the place itself isn’t exactly an easy feat. You’ll first need to dial in (unit #03-02), using the intercom of apartment complex The Modules, and wait for the staff to buzz you in.

Once in, it’s a pleasant surprise: not only is it a welcoming, cosy space with natural light streaming through, but it also has a hidden stash of out-of-print books and rare titles. While this bookstore has a clear preference for Chinese literature, there is also a selection of international titles that are sure to spark your curiosity. A deep dive into the history of Malaysian railways, local Singlit poetry, or even Bengali fiction – this indie bookstore has quite the range. 

City Book Room also occasionally hosts interesting talks with known lecturers and writers – you can check out their Facebook page for updates. They’ve also made appearances at events like indie music festival Clang! 克浪 at Pasir Panjang Power Station or had pop-up booths at some of Wild Rice’s plays. 

Pailin Boonlong
Written by
Pailin Boonlong


The Modules
387 Joo Chiat Rd
Opening hours:
Wed-Mon 11am-6pm (Closed on Tue)
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