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Getting Booksmart: We Check Out Books Ahoy!

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Imaginations set sail at Books Ahoy, the new Singapore bookstore at The Forum by the team from Woods In The Books.

It may come as no surprise that we, as people that put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards), love the written word. And even though we’re in the business of publishing information on electronic screens, we still hold a candle (ok, and sometimes a Kindle) for words contained within covers. That’s right. You can’t beat a good old fashioned book. And so, this is one of our favourite times of the year in Singapore (haze notwithstanding): the eve of the Singapore Writers Festival.

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This year the Little Lit programme has been expanded to become SWF For Families (SWF3). Book lovers as young as 4 will have a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of authors including Sarah Mounsey and Chris Haughton. Also on offer is lots lots of book-related crafting, story-telling sessions, bi-lingual readings, tailored activities for young adults and even workshops for parents on how to enhance reading with your kids at home. Click here for the full rundown of kid-friendly events, mama!

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The theme of the 2015 festival is “Island of Dreams”, and writers and audiences will be asked what theirs are and how to make them come true. Our dreams have come true already: there’s a new bookstore in town! And it’s not just any bookstore. It’s a place where we can share our love of books with our kids and take home some obscure titles and classics alike to keep.

If you’re a fan of whimsical picture bookstore Woods in the Books, then you’ll be as enchanted as an Enid Blyton character to discover that the mercurial couple behind it, Mike Foo and Shannon Ong, have just opened a new bookstore dedicated to the kid-kind in Forum The Shopping Mall. In the location that was formerly occupied by Bookaburra, Books Ahoy! offers a thoughtfully curated collection of classics, new releases, graphic novels and niche titles that are otherwise difficult to source in Singapore.

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With a selection that includes a beautifully illustrated Japanese interpretation of The Velveteen Rabbit, Tintin titles, a comprehensive library of Usborne books and even a gorgeous tome titled Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou based on the artwork of Jean-Michel Basquiat, it is impossible not to fall in love with the littles’ lit within this space.

And a lovely space it is. Instead of row upon row of shelving stacks, books are honoured like works of art and displayed generously along the walls so you can truly appreciate them. Mr Foo’s signature murals add the finishing touch (we still want him to do a custom sketch on our kids’ bedroom walls!).

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This is the perfect place to carry on our tradition of buying one extra special book every birthday in the hope of amassing a collection to pass on. They also stock a great range of other gift-worthy items such as adorable Moulin Roty satchels and Giotto art supplies. Much like the Tiong Bahru store, Books Ahoy will be hosting readings and workshops for young story-lovers. Stay tuned.

Books Ahoy!, Forum The Shopping Mall, #02-03, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884,

Lead image and image #1 sourced via Facebook page. All other images provided by author.

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