I Love Kino

Here’s hoping that the Kino (the bookstore Kinokuniya) never closes down. I particularly love the branch at Liang Court although it has a much smaller selection than the one at Ngee Ann City. The reason why I say this is becuase we have been losing bookstores, one after another. First it was Borders, then PageOne, followed by Harris closing it’s main branch at Great World City. So sad. It must be because people are buying electronic books instead. I find it so sad because for me nothing can replace the traditional form. I am just not comfortable with reading on a device even though it’s kinder to the trees and takes up less space when you travel. Just being in a bookstore makes me happy. There’s something just very calming about being among books. All the unread pages, all the unembarked upon adventures, all the potential knowledge. It’s nice.

photo by bookjunkie

I love that Kino wraps all it’s books as I like getting them in mint condition. I hate it when books get dogearred or worse yet get their spines cracked. It’s really painful to me. Yes, I am anal that way.

photo by bookjunkie

I like the way Kino displays their books and it’s so easy to find the ones worth reading.

photo by bookjunkie

The travel section always makes me long for distant lands I have never set eyes upon, but only dream about.

photo by bookjunkie

And the Japanese bookstore wouldn’t be complete without a super kawaii stationary section.

photo by bookjunkie

I stopped buying magazines as I get my celebrity fix for free online, but it’s nice to look at the covers. But mostly I love sussing out titles both old and new. I mostly go for fiction but I do love a well told true story.

photo by bookjunkie

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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23 Responses to I Love Kino

  1. plumerainbow says:

    I love Kinokuniya too, more so than the (now defunct) Borders, and simply because of aesthetic appeal, sheer size of collection and languages available. Still, the book prices are higher than say, if one buys online. Sad, but true – even though I enjoy visiting a bookshop, nowadays I buy books online simply because it’s less expensive!

    I don’t necessarily agree that e-readers are kinder to the environment… most electronics are still non-biodegradable! But as you know I am totally biased in favour of hardcopy books.

    • bookjunkie says:

      I had not idea that books online were cheaper. Never bought a book from amazon before. But I think I am too impatient to start reading, and don’t think I would like waiting for the book to arrive. Glad to find someone else who’s totally in favour of the traditional book form.

      • plumerainbow says:

        Amazon is expensive because of shipping half way round the globe.
        But I used it when I couldn’t get the books locally.
        Then came NoQ bookstore, which is owned by Times. The shipping is a fixed fee of $5, and it comes in traditional brown paper wrapping!

        • bookjunkie says:

          I will check out NoQ for those books I really can’t get elsewhere. The traditional brown paper reminds me of how MPH used to do it when I was a kid.

  2. plumerainbow says:

    “There’s something just very calming about being among books. All the unread pages, all the unembarked upon adventures, all the potential knowledge. It’s nice.”

    Love your description.

  3. Laura says:

    I agree, I’m afraid I still haven’t ventured into the world of electronic reading devices much preferring a book to hold. My bag is always plenty big enough to carry one around in and I love just browsing our bookshelves in our condo and rediscovering books again and reading all the ones I’ve brought but not yet got around to reading.

    It’s a shame so many book shops seem to have gone, nowadays most of our book purchases in Singapore are in the airport and the rest I buy in the UK either new or at charity shops (though plenty of shops have closed there too) and bring back with me. Fingers crossed Kino remains!

    • bookjunkie says:

      I am that way too. I still have a couple to read. I just can’t resist getting another even though I am not done with the current one.

      What are the prices of books in the UK like compared to Singapore. Are they cheaper there?

      • Laura says:

        It varies, you can get books, particularly what they term the classics, i.e. Dickens, Bronte sisters etc. for the equivalent of a couple of $, but I think that is all with the view to get people buying and reading those types of books and also students study those a lot and have to buy the books. I’ve picked up books here which I would say were very expensive in comparison but likewise I got books from Borders for as little as $4.90 which I think is pretty good.

        I saw someone comment about buying from Amazon, I forgot that I do that too, so I guess I’m not helping bookstores as much as I’d like to, but less so now as I have to pay for delivery to Singapore (I guess because I’m registered with the UK site and still have a billing address there). If I use Amazon now I get them sent to my parents in the UK as I can usually get free delivery then and pick them up next time I go back.

        • bookjunkie says:

          Makes me want to explore Amazon for books. So far I have used it to buy clothes and with the delivery the price on Amazon was still totally worth it. I think clothes in Singapore is definitely too expensive…..marked up a lot I think.

          • Laura says:

            Never brought clothes from Amazon, mainly books, a few CD’s and a few other things like sweet scoops for my wedding (so cheap). I agree though clothes here can be expensive, I tend to gravitate towards shops we have in the UK where I know I can get my size but they often have the UK price on them as well and yep you always seem to pay more here. Another thing I try to hold out for and do when I’m back in the UK if I can.

          • bookjunkie says:

            stores in Singapore are filled with xs and s…it’s annoying

  4. katrijn says:

    I adore Kinokuniya. And I haven’t even visited the Ngee Ann City branch yet! The stationery section just blew me away, I could spend days just pottering around. You mention a lot of bookstores have disappeared, which is a pity, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the number of bookshops when I arrived in Singapore – I definitely was not expecting that particular subsector of shopping to be so well-served! And to me, it is essential to live in a city that values books. (Mumbai was another wonderful surprise in that sense. And the books are so cheap there!)

    • bookjunkie says:

      Oh my I think you will love the main branch at Ngee Ann City and you could spend hours there. There is a nice cafe next to it that’s always crowded that sells wonderful pastries. – Paul – service not great at the moment…but the food is.

  5. Zoe says:

    Nice post!
    I love being around books too 🙂 whenever I’m in a shopping mall with time on my hands, i’d rather pop into a bookshop and just drown in all the books. Although I don’t buy any, but it still makes me feel happy. So weird.

  6. Lady J says:

    I love Kino too.. Love browsing the fancy Jap magazines over in Taka. Noticed that most of the books are wrapped up. Are they discouraging browsing?

    • bookjunkie says:

      When I buy something I am glad it’s wrapped up, but yeah it means you can’t browse. But if you really want to check out a book to make sure, they will open up the packaging for you. In a way I think Borders sank because of all the browsing and I saw many books left in tatters. I wish people will browse gently and then they wouldn’t have to wrap up all the mags. Perhaps they could leave one sample out for browsing, but that’s cost for them too I guess.

  7. Wei Ling says:

    Hey hi! 😀 May I know how do I address you? (If it’s convenient) So I can address you appropriately instead of always saying “hey hi!” 🙂

    Just read through this post of yours, and I totally agree with your point of view. I myself prefer reading through traditional types of paperback/hardcover books despite occasionally having the urge to get a kindle :p I also love hanging around in bookstores!

    Anyway, I would just like to recommend to you a online bookstore, if you haven’t heard of it yet! http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/

    It offers free delivery worldwide, and the prices are really cheaper than what you get in brick-and-mortar bookstores locally! (of course you need to take your time to search for the cheapest price, like what I normally do, LOL) Around few weeks ago, I got myself a book from the website too, however, delivery is quite a long wait though.

    • bookjunkie says:

      you can call me bookjunkie (sorry I’m such a recluse & go by a moniker)

      thanks so much for the recommendation Wei Ling..will check it out 🙂

  8. 365days2play says:

    I don’t know if I love Kino, but I guess I have to love it now, now that there are so few left! I just like quiet bookstores where I can browse to my heart’s content. Prologue on the 4th floor of Ion is a nice place too, and there is a cafe in it too. For me, the section where I absolutely can’t miss is the cookbook section! Have never bought a single book online before! I feel like I should browse the pages first so I know I’m getting a book that I want. But now that I’m so into cookbooks, of which many are not available in Singapore, I might just succumb and buy some online. I actually don’t feel that more people are buying books online. I think that people are reading less because there’s so much free news out there, and distractions like Facebook and stuff. Not substantiated by stats, but this is what I personally feel.

    • bookjunkie says:

      it’s so true what you say about being connected and all the distractions. I find my attention span becoming shorter and shorter. It’s bad, I know.

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