It’s the smell that gets me. Every time I step into a bookshop (most bookshops anyway), I feel like I’m snuggled in between the pages of a book. (You know, when you buy a new book and you bury your nose in its pages, and even run your thumb across the pages to fan the smell of book paper–I love that!) And for anyone who loves books, what could be more satisfying than stepping into a small shop that just smells of books and have shelves and shelves of it.
On my last day in Singapore a few days ago, while my friend K and I looked for a place to have lunch with the girls, we explored Duxton Road in the Tanjong Pagar area. As the past trip to Singapore last year proved, I am a slut for shop houses, and when I saw that Duxton was lined with lovely shophouses, I made sure to explore it.
I was told that the conservation shophouses along Duxton used to be occupied by a number of seedy bars. Well, after it cleaned up its act, different businesses have opened up shop, including Littered with Books.
Littered with Books in a conservation shophouse along Duxton Road in Singapore
Have you ever walked into a bookstore, told yourself you’re just going to browse, and ended up being drawn to the cash register with a couple of books held close to your chest? I have. Too many times. I get this giddy, triumphant feeling, especially if I find the title I want under a heap of books on sale. (Particularly, because I’m not the most patient bargain hunter. In fact, I’m one of those people who’ll likely sit out one of those scavenger hunt games.)
And then I get home and look at my bookshelf, the bedside table, my desk, the boxes beside my desk, my work chair, and wonder if there’s still some space or surface besides the floor where I can put these new books. Where can they join the rest of the unread books scattered about or shoved in little corners? This is the time I tell myself I shouldn’t go inside bookstores every chance I get. Ignore the sale sign. Ignore the wonderful smell of books.
When we went up to Baguio, this note to self was completely set aside as one of the places on top of my must-see list in the city is the bookstore next to Casa Vallejo called, Mt Cloud Bookshop. A friend of mine told me about it, so after P and I put down our bags and got settled in the house, we headed to Casa Vallejo and the bookshop.
Beside Casa Vallejo