Booktique Where Writers Shop is an independent bookshop founded in 2013 by a freelance writer for aspiring writers. After a year of book fairs, it opened its first pop-up bookshop at The Cathay and MP Baey Yam Keng attended its inaugural celebration. The 3-months' pop up ended in August 2014 and two months later, Booktique opened its next pop-up bookshop at CityLink Mall. The 6-months' pop up ended in May 2015.
Even with a physical store, Booktique continued to do book fairs and participated in arts events like Verve, World Lit and Words Go Round. It also hosted book launches and art-related workshops and organized festive bazaars in the backroom of the bookshop.
Since having its first store, the rustic interior and small collection of books have customers calling it a "cute, little bookshop" and "quaint and cosy, minimalistic greenhouse".
From the start, the founder has been reaching out to self-published authors. The word spread and Booktique now supports more than 30 such authors. George Whitman, founder of Shakespeare and Company in Paris said: “Give what you can, take what you need.” This philosophy influences the way Booktique is run.
Booktique returned to CityLink Mall as a permanent shop in July 2015 and ended its lease in June 2017. It no longer has a physical space and now operates as a book fair concept.
Facebook to know their next book fair.
~ The idea behind Booktique ~
When Anthony Koh Waugh started writing freelance full-time in 2007, he found very few books on writing at major bookstores and none at independent bookstores. Even when a bookstore had them, the selections were too little, too general or too expensive. Today, the situation has not changed. Even with more aspiring writers now, the writer's market remains small and overlooks by book retailers. Libraries offer such books but they are either outdated or the newest ones are gone too fast. So he decided to start a mobile "bookshop" to fill this gap.
~ Naming Booktique~
Several names were brainstormed and "Booktique" was finally chosen. To strengthen its positioning in the book retailing market, the slogan "Where Writers Shop" was added. "Booktique" was filed for business registration. However, the name was registered by an inactive company. Anthony appealed and finally incorporated the company "Booktique Pte Ltd" on 13/03/13.
Booktique aspires to be a soulful space that not only inspires creativity but also humanity.
Booktique turned 8
Last year, Popular Bookstore group chief executive and executive director Chou Cheng Ngok visited Booktique and invited Anthony to contribute his life-changing story to their corporate magazine Popular News. Coincidentally, the new issue came out just in time for their 5th year anniversary.
Download the magazine (Jan/Feb 2018 issue) here.
Launch of lifestyle pop up store - Chio Books
Straits Times - 17th Dec 2020
'Chio' pop-up aims to revive joy of physical books
ZaoBao column - 20th Dec 2020
Follow Chio Books on Instagram.
Anthony was a panelist at the Singapore Writers Festival 2017 to discuss about the survival of bookstores in an internet age.
You can invite him to your school to fire up the students to read. Email us at BooktiqueWhereWritersShop@gmail.com
Excerpts of my CNA93.8 interview on Singapore Stories segment with presenter Eugene Loh.
Read ZaoBao feature on our Facebook page
The Straits Times feature before the closure of our store at The CityLink Mall
Interviews with the founder
Tan Shee Lah, former NTUC Media Managing Editor - 17th Oct 2013
Ethos Books - 29th Oct 2014
Super Cool Books - 9th Nov 2016
Yellow Pages - 23th May 2017
Yellow Pages - 22nd Feb 2018
Blogs & online media