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As I recover from the madness of the past few weeks, I realised it’s just a mere 6+ weeks left before 2014 arrives. Time to start evaluating the year & prepping for the next.

I try to give thanks daily, but every year-end thanksgiving/ blessings-counting, is just like an act of zooming out of the picture to gasp in awe, of the beauty of the (1-year worth of) art work God has painted for me. My Abba, with an overwhelming amount of mercy & grace, brought about so much beauty, goodness, flavour, blessings and joy into my life day in day out, year in year out… it’s just a need to do a major reflection every year. It’s also a time to remind myself, to grow to be utterly dependent on Him.

Indeed there’s so much to be thankful for, but I’ll just gather & simplify them into a list of 10 categories. And here’s one of the 10 aspects of 2013 I am thankful for – Books & Bookshops (alongside with literacy & education) :)

I am always grateful that I can be literate. Recently, I have been repeatedly tasked with having to sum myself up in a word. Without hesitating, I have been replying – I am a LEARNER. I just have this great love for anything that stimulates me intellectually. Now I’m not trying to make myself sound sophisticated alright. Learner is truly far from that. It sounds like a great word, and it is, but a learning process is… not really fashionably ‘sophisticating’ in any sense. Close friends always label me as an auntie of sorts (and I agree because I can’t deny hah). I do admit that I have a ‘hoarders syndrome’ (physically and mentally). I love just sitting and listening to people teach/ preach/ talk. It’s really very much like reading. In short, I just love absorbing things I guess. Downside’s that while I love accumulating (from things, thoughts, knowledge, inspirations to memories), I tend to be strangely blur about many very basic things/ common sense. Bizarre. Anyway, I have concluded that if ultimately, as long as it helps to remind me to stay humble constantly, it doesn’t matter what I’m being called. (Post-structuralistic yet true – The more I learn, the less I know.) 

So being a learner, I am ever thankful to be in a stable country that provides quality education. I am equally thankful for the couple of good bookstores around (albeit many great ones have left the scene).

Basheer Graphics Bookstore is one of my local favourite. They don’t really sell novels, but that’s the best part. I love that they focus on what they know best – selling amazing design books & magazines. I love them for staying around; and for staying true too.
Above all that, what makes them the best is definitely their great service. I love every uncle inside; always friendly & kind, ever since the first time I enter the shop. (The last I checked, a couple of days back, they were still wonderfully friendly.) I just absolutely love their smiles, freely given to anyone & everyone who visits. They’re by far, one of the best bookstore owners in Singapore. That really makes all the difference (haven’t met any other (secular) bookstore owners as genuinely nice and smart as them).
The shop is neither prettily decorated (they just let the books adorn the place. coolest design ofcourse.) nor located in some hip hood, but all the more for that, I find Basheer absolutely beyond charming. It will always have a place in my heart & have all my support.

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Thank you Basheer :)
Please stay the way you are; ever quaint & genuine :)
And oh, yes, do continue to give random offer vouchers/ random discounts (especially to students)! Always so thoughtful and kind! :D

Another of my favourite bookstore is SKS Books. They specialises in Christian materials but apart from having a superb collection of anything faith related, the staff there are also amazing people. Service & attitude truly reaches out and impresses far more than the beauty of the shop. SKS may be located in a warehouse (albeit tanboonliat is one of the hippest warehouse. Providore is there too! Enough said.) but its a really delightful place; both serene and exciting at the same time (cause you just can’t help feeling excited when surrounded by awesome books!). It’s definitely yet another place I frequently find myself exiting almost penniless.

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And sale seasons always makes the auntie inside me squeal with delight :)

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Every year sees me spending even more money on books. At the rate I’m buying books, 2 things will happen.
1) I’ll need HOUSES to store all my books.
2) I’ll be a terribly broke girl; so point 1 won’t ever happen (not in Sg at least)

(sigh)

death by books. — kyledonn.com.

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One Resort by Jianxiong Liu

” IN A GOOD BOOKROOM YOU FEEL IN SOME MYSTERIOUS WAY THAT YOU ARE ABSORBING THE WISDOM CONTAINED IN ALL THE BOOKS THROUGH YOUR SKIN, WITHOUT EVEN OPENING THEM. “

–  Mark Twain

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