Friday, December 7, 2012

The National Library Book Sale (2012) in Singapore

The Madir and I used to frequent the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) every year since the mid-90s.  But since I am currently based in Singapore, I, as expected, wasn’t able to attend this year’s event.  Huhuhu!   L

Good thing the National Library Board of Singapore held its annual book sale last September 15 and 16, 2012; where I happily drowned my sorrows and homesickness with a few a lot of new books to add to my collection.

The National Library Book Sale 2012

I’ve always been in awe of the public libraries here in the Lion City.  They really do look like the centers of knowledge that they are meant to be, providing the necessary information and literary entertainment that its citizens, and visitors, need. 

National Library of Singapore along Victoria Street

Such a far cry from the state of our own “National”  and "public" libraries.  *Sigh*

I used to stay at the National Library Building along Victoria Street for hours on end.  I’d be there by 2:00 p.m. and stay on till the Husband left the office at 6 in the evening.  There's ample seating and a whole lot of titles to choose from (both fiction and non-fiction).  Let’s just say I saw a preview of my own version of heaven.   

We started the Little One, too, on her journey to become a book lover (she has actually already amassed a decent collection of titles.)  As such, she has also realized the vast entertainment potential of public libraries at a very young age.  We actually took her on her first library visit when she was only 9 months old.

The Husband and the Little One at the Yishun Public Library (which is located, in all places, inside a mall)

But I digress.  Let me return back to my original post.  J

Full house

The National Library Board of Singapore holds its annual National Library Book Sale at the Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre in order to rid itself of their old books, usually those that have been in service (for use by the public) for at least 3 years.  It’s an event that hundreds of book lovers, both locals and foreigners alike, have been anxiously waiting for year after year.   

And why is that?

Everything for S$1 to 2 only!!!

Yes, folks.  Your eyes have not deceived you.  Because books here are sold here for S$1 (Php33*), for the Chinese and Malay language books; to S$2 (Php66*) for English titles.  No kidding!  

WARNING: As you can see in the photos, books are placed inside bins and are sorted by language and genre; not by author nor are they placed in alphabetical order.  So expect a little digging to be done.

I tried not to go overboard, but man, it was freakin' hard!!!  Just look at what I was able to buy.

My haul

I didn't purchase a lot of fiction novels since I still had a number of titles on my to-read pile that time.  Aside from my purchases, the Little One was also able to add quite a number of titles to her growing collection.

For the Little One

We're starting her off with story books, and less on the picture books, bit by bit since she's beginning to appreciate simple tales already.

The cost of all this debauchery (?) and lack of self-control?  Why, we spent only S$36 (Php1,100*) for 18 books!  Not bad considering the 5 The Complete Peanuts collections alone could have cost me Php6,500 (if bought brand new). 

I’m hooked!  I am so waiting for next year’s sale.  J

*S$1 = Php33


The National Library Board (NLB) of Singapore Book Sale is usually scheduled around July and September every year.  Announcements in both the NLB website and newspapers are done beforehand to inform the public of the official date.

Couldn't wait to start reading her new books


  1. I love book sale! good reasons to haul books to read:) ang bongga naman dyn library sa mall sosyal! sana ganydn din dito sa phil:)

    1. Hay! How I wish. Looking at the Philippines, we actually have a lot of potential. We just need discipline and polical will. =)


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