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Posted 12 May 2010 - 07:40 PM
Can anyone recommend bookshops in Singapore which might be worth browsing for Chinese learning materials?
I'm going to be there next week and hope to have a few evenings free.
I did come across this linkmentioning the Kinokuniya bookshop for books in Chinese and teasingly alluded to another massive store with lots of material for students of Chinese.
I'm also interested in any good English language bookshops, including second-hand books shops.
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Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:31 PM
There is also a chain called Popular which stocks a lot of useful reference works and textbooks. They also sell all the textbooks used in Singaporean schools, including the ones for the Mandarin classes. But some of their branches seemed to be stationery stores more than bookstores, and so didn't quite stock as many books. I went to the one at Marine Parade, I think, which was pretty decent and had a lot of textbooks, although it's certainly not as big as Kinokuniya's at Takashimaya. Of course, I'm not sure it's still there, but you could check their website.
I haven't got a clue what shopping centre with over thirty bookstores PeterMUC is talking about in that other thread. I should think I would've known about it if it still existed, though...
There's also a Borders at Orchard Road, by the way, which is quite alright as well. Enjoy
Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:26 AM
Popular is the average Singaporean's bookstore, i.e. it carries a small selection of general books and a whole load of educational and school materials. You'll find a boggling array of affordable Chinese practice books (we call them "assessment books"), grammar and vocab guidebooks, textbooks, readers, essay compilations, dictionaries, etc. there. There's usually also a full section of Chinese books from China and Taiwan if you feel like tackling those. I recommend you stock up on the learning materials, because you probably can't get them so cheaply and plentifully at home. (Don't feel bad about picking up grade school stuff!)
The big branch of Popular at Bras Basah caters more to professionals than students/parents, so you may get less of the educational stuff. But there are more typical, pedestrian branches of Popular in probably every major shopping area.
For typical Western megabookstores, go to Orchard MRT station, from which you can walk to Borders (at Wheelock Place) or Kinokuniya (in Ngee Ann City). In terms of Chinese, however, these are probably mostly like what you have at home and don't carry local educational material.
I know either Parklane Shopping Mall or Peace Centre (they're side by side) has two or three small bookstores with decent prices, so you might want to go explore those. They're maybe 10 minutes' walk from Bras Basah. Also, the Central Branch of the National Library is right next to Bras Basah, so you can check it out if you're interested.
Have fun shopping in Singapore! Don't forget to try all our food!
edit: P.S. I should mention that books in Singapore are generally expensive since almost all of them are imported. You get slightly/somewhat better prices in the smaller stores, which tend to stock mostly used books, in comparison to the more high-profile, classy bookstores like Borders and Kino.
The exception to high prices is of course locally-printed mass-market books, like the educational materials I mentioned. Parents generally buy them in every subject every year that their child is in school, so the market is pretty big and quite competitive.
Posted 13 May 2010 - 09:06 AM
Creamyhorror, you mentioned Bras Brasah as a shopping center. I'm not familiar with Singapore - is that the one between Victoria and North Bridge? It's close to but not actually on Bras Brasah road? Anyhow, it sound great and I'll have to spend some time there. I really don't need any more books but I'm always hoping to find the unknown wonder that will take me from completely ignorant to totally fluent in 10 easy lessons (of only 5 minutes each) At least, I have a lot of fun looking.
Posted 13 May 2010 - 09:37 AM
Posted 13 May 2010 - 11:26 AM
Yes, should be. It's across the road from Raffles Hotel. There's only one "Bras Basah" in Singapore, so anyone will be able to tell you where it is.
Creamyhorror, you mentioned Bras Brasah as a shopping center. I'm not familiar with Singapore - is that the one between Victoria and North Bridge? It's close to but not actually on Bras Brasah road?
Haha, I'm totally the same way. Spent many hours browsing in Bras Basah. To be honest, it's nowhere near as good as the Strand in NYC, for example, but it has Chinese books.
Anyhow, it sound great and I'll have to spend some time there. I really don't need any more books but I'm always hoping to find the unknown wonder that will take me from completely ignorant to totally fluent in 10 easy lessons (of only 5 minutes each) At least, I have a lot of fun looking.
Don't miss out on the Chinese practice books in Popular, though - those are handy to have in your library.
Wow! I'm kind of regretting missing the Bras Basah shopping centre when I was in Singapore two years ago, then. Sounds like I need to be paying another visit, as I'm exactly like HedgePig: I have too many books, but simply love browsing bookstores
If anyone is coming to Singapore and wants to meet up for dinner/browse Bras Basah, drop me a message!
Posted 14 May 2010 - 08:28 AM
Posted 14 May 2010 - 11:40 AM
Posted 14 May 2010 - 03:56 PM
Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:06 AM
Got sick of going to Bras Basah to be honest. The bookshops are always closed there, and you have to go all the way to town.
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