Super Cool Books
Nov 9, 2016 · 4 min read

Anthony Koh Waugh (photo above, right) is a bit of a legend in the local book trade. Over the past few years, he has taken his Booktique bookselling brand from passion project to retail experiment to, currently, a downtown shopping sanctuary where book lovers can expect to be swept away by the rather delightful and surprising selection of titles. Here’s an interview with the man himself, about his passion for local writing and why he wants Booktique to evolve further. Do drop by to experience the space for yourself, the address is at the end of the interview.

– Don


Please introduce yourself and your bookstore.

Booktique is very different from other bookstores. Some walk-in customers have asked if they could buy the books. They thought it was an exhibition space because we have more space than bookshelves. Now and then, we still get questions like “what’s so special about your bookshop?” If you haven’t visited us, I hope I have piqued your curiosity to drop by soon.

Running a bookstore is quite a challenge, what are the joys that keep you inspired?

The joy of having my own bookstore is being able to keep buying books without feeling guilty. And when customers like our books and are inspired by my founding story, I feel motivated to do my job better.

I don’t see bookstores as just another retail store; I regard them as a cultural business. They are the catchments of local literary works – past and present, especially the independent ones. They are places where Singaporeans can buy and own Singapore literature. And I believe this makes a huge difference as opposed to borrowing them from libraries. I couldn’t imagine the impact on our literary scene as I read that bookstores were closing down one after another. That was partly why I had decided to open a bookstore.

You’ve been supporting self-published authors. What advice do you have for those who want to explore this?

Print on demand won’t grow your brand as an author; print a few hundred copies. For some self-published authors, big bookshops may not be the best place to sell your book. You are competing for attention with thousands of books. When people don’t know you, you cannot be hidden somewhere on the shelves. Depending on what you write about, some other venues might be better to get you the visibility and sales.

What are your plans for Booktique, and how can local writers get involved?

Booktique ~ Where Writers Shop is at:CityLink Mall #B1–17A , 1 Raffles Link, Singapore 039393.

NOTE: Get a special launch discount on my new book IMAGINE ALL THIS: HOW TO WRITE YOUR OWN STORIES, only at Booktique. Offer ends 12 November 2016.

Super Cool Books

Written by

DON BOSCO writes thrilling fiction for teens and children. His stories are inspired by Asian legends and pop culture.