Why Singapore Bookstores Don’t have Chairs

Instead they have signs like the one below.  I captured a shot of this at the Times Bookstore at Centrepoint.  But you can’t stop the kiasu Singaporean.  When there are no chairs they improvise and sit on the floor.  They often become an obstacle course you need to navigate.  In places where chairs are generous like Borders, the books become tattered as people hog a seat for hours and practically read the book from cover to cover.  That way they don’ need to buy them and bookstores are better than libraries because they have the latest books.  So if you were wondering, besides lack of space, this is the main reason where the bookstores besides Border’s don’t have chairs for you to park it.

Bookstores like Kinokuniya found that merely wrapping the books and magazines in plastic did not help, so they added another dimension of thick clear tape.  This needs a pair of scissors to cut open, I know because when I used to buy magazines they were so hard to get open when you brought them to a cafe to read and did not happen to have a pair of scissors on you.  Since then I hope we have improved in our kindness towards reading materials.

photo by bookjunkie

photo by bookjunkie

About bookjunkie

Blogging about my daily life in Singapore helps with my mid life crisis.
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6 Responses to Why Singapore Bookstores Don’t have Chairs

  1. LL says:

    This is really interesting! I didn’t notice this when I was in Singapore! Ah, now I want to go back there just to see this in person.

    • bookjunkie says:

      They may have a few benches at Kinokuniya, but those are always occupied. Yeah it’s quite a phenomena here…what is it like in your country?

      • LL says:

        Most of the bookstores are like Borders or Barnes and Nobles. I think people have a harder time of getting away with it in a mom and pop store (the few that exist). I think it is looked down upon, but nothing is really done about it as long as the magazines/books aren’t damaged..

      • bookjunkie says:

        ya I guess it’s not too bad if the material is handled carefully 🙂 I always need to read the first paragraph at least to know for sure if I want to get a book. the blurb alone doesn’t help.

  2. kierstens says:

    Yeahhh I noticed this last night at Kinokuniya! It’s so frustrating because how can you know if you want to buy a book if you can’t look inside it? Anyways I asked the storeclerk to cut it open for me and she was really nice about it.

    A colleague of mine was trying to explain “kiasu” to me this week. Is this post an example of kiasu?

    • bookjunkie says:

      hahaha yeah…an example of kiasu alright 🙂 The other symptom of kiasu (parents) is all the math and science assessment books sold at Popular store. Past year examination papers and compiled and sold at places like Toa Payoh too. Glad I’m not a kid in school right now. Quite a pressure cooker.

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