Six second-hand bookstores to check out

The dearth of bookstores in the city is a nationwide problem – but thankfully, these second-hand gems keep our dreams afloat

Gohd Books

Two volumes of The Poetical Works of Robert Browning from 1897 sit within GOHD Books, the only sign of their age marked by brown specks on their well-kept bodies.

The rest of the bookstore is similar, with an eclectic – and rare – selection of titles purchased through online auctions. These include leather-bound biographies, fairy tale tomes, books on natural history and folkore, and translated classics like Don Quixote that remain in almost perfect condition. Equally notable are works on observations of the world, whether an 1886 study on the gypsies of India or a written documentation of Borneo natives from 1927. Prices start from around $56. 

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Evernew Bookstore

Chinese literature, medical dictionaries, political  biographies and popular ’90s comic series, Mr Kiasu: these are some gems you’ll find at the 29-year-old bookstore, whose extensive selection is neatly split by genre. It’s  also the only shop we’re aware of that’s decked in Communist paraphernalia. 

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Knowledge Book Centre

You’ll find mainly educational materials at roughly a third cheaper than anywhere else here.  Its  fiction selection runs thin, so if you’re after a specific title, check with co-owner Mohamed Ismail. 

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Book Treasure

Book Treasure’s set-up is as no-frills as it gets: it’s found, book fair-style, in the atrium of a creaking old mall, illuminated only by dim lights overhead. Here, old issues of Economist, TIME and National Geographic occupy one section – but everything else isn’t organised in any apparent order. So you’ll uncover how-to guides like Stepping Stones to GO: Written for the Westerner alongside titles covering parenting, religion and alternative views on legal systems overseas. There’s a decent selection of fiction to sift through, too, but everything’s sealed in plastic, so you’ll have to approach the counter to thumb through a copy.

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Ana Bookstore

He’s better known as Mr Bean, but the man running the 40-year-old business is in fact Mohd Noorul Islam. Archie Comics, chick lit novels and well-loved classics occupy most of the store. There’s also non-fiction covering investment, fashion and the spiritual world, although this makes up far sparser a selection. Not all titles can be rented, and book donations are accepted and valued on-the-spot.

Orchard

Sultana Book Store

Books are stacked precariously around shelves in here,  and  you’ll find titles on languages, philosophy,  animals  and brain teasers. Owner Mr Kwok – he declines to share  his full name – easily locates titles in his labyrinth of tomes.  He doesn’t accept book donations, though, given the volume of titles in the shop. 

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