It seems that if you’re a bibliophile and you live in Singapore, then you can’t help having a crush on BooksActually.
BooksActually is probably the most innovative indie bookstore in this small country. In the past few months, they’ve pulled off some charming feats of marketing. They organised a string of pop-up stores, including ones at Hotel 1929 and Blackmarket (Orchard Central). In April they held their “24-Hour Bookstore Event”, featuring discounts for books, free drinks sponsored by Red Bull and an overnight programme filled with literary bohemianisms. And before that, they hosted the Monocle Season Shop, a retail event that was part of the magazine’s The Monocle Asia-Pacific Tour.
BooksActually also promotes its own gutsy catalogue at these events, a selection of quirky books produced through its publishing imprint, Math Paper Press. Current titles include Red Dot Irreal, a collection of “equatorial fantastika” stories by Jason Erik Lundberg; Sonnets from the Singlish by Joshua Ip, basically an exercise in writing 44 sonnets in Singapore’s street English dialect; and Ayam Curtain, edited by June Yang and Joyce Chng, a compilation of bizarre microfiction inspired by local culture.