The Book Cafe – Singapore
One of my favorite spots to chill out in our neighborhood here in Singapore is a great place called The Book Cafe. Such a simple name and a perfect description. I frequent it every Tuesday morning after my personal training session.
The Book Cafe is a cozy place you can go to for any reason you please. Some go to eat, some for a coffee, others have work meetings, some meet with friends, others like to chill out and read a book. You see it all at The Book Cafe. People working, chatting, reading, job interviews, enjoying their delicious food and coffee, parents with babies or little ones. The environment is very dynamic and the patrons themselves create this. You see locals, expats, tourists, business people, families, children and more. Prime people watching at this spot! If you know me then you know how much I love observing others and that I am very intrigued by the interactions of people. I’ll admit I’ve been known to accidentally overhear conversations around me and enjoy it. But hey, if you’re speaking loud enough for others to hear, then it can’t be that private! It’s not eavesdropping, it’s over-hearing loud conversations. I’m sticking with that one. There is a story in every conversation and I love it. There can even be a story told just by observing dynamics between people. When I come to The Book Cafe I am here for at least 2 hours so it’s a revolving door of patrons coming in and sitting on these couches.
Take right now for example. Here I am at the cafe writing this post. Across from me are a man and a woman who seem like friends or co-workers dressed in business casual attire. You can tell they aren’t a couple just by how they’re speaking to one another and body language. They are locals. I have no idea what they are saying as they are speaking in hushed tones and continually looking around so for all I know they could be CIA agents or talking about any of us around them or most likely, none of the above. Clearly I’ve been watching too much Law & Order. To my right is a young mother with what looks to be a newborn baby and the Grandmother, so I’m assuming. They enjoyed a bite while the baby quietly slept, well except for one shrill cry. The mother seems uneasy and keeps looking around. No idea what is going on there. Next to them are a couple of women probably in their twenties who appear to be working away on their laptops. One is American and the other is a local I think. I realize how much the American accent can stand out in quiet environments like this one. It probably isn’t helping she’s a tad on the loud side. By the way, I can get away with saying that simply because I am American. Speaking of loud, another expat woman just bounded into the cafe yelling out, “Hey bro” to a sheepish looking expat guy sitting on one of the couches. He doesn’t look thrilled her bellowing was directed at him. Never mind everyone turned and stared at her which she’s oblivious to. Oops I just got caught staring at her, better look away. They just moved to an outside table which is probably a smart move considering her volume levels. People are funny.
OK, back to the cafe itself. The vibe is very chilled out, casual and welcoming. If you’re a regular, the staff always welcome you with a warm smile and pleasant conversation. They know who you are and remember you. They wave at you when you are just strolling by the cafe. You forget how the staff of a venue play such a big part in creating the atmosphere and are reminded when you encounter a place like The Book Cafe or unfortunately the polar opposite.
Another highlight of The Book Cafe are the 4 comfy couches they have in the back part of the cafe. This is my favorite section. Bookshelves line the walls with quite a variety of literature. Books about places all over the world, classics by Charles Dickens and the like, more contemporary literature such as “The Joy Luck Club” and “The Da Vinci Code.” I love spending time in used bookstores, especially when they have a little cafe bit and this reminds of those. I find the environment to be very calming, cozy and full of interesting information.
Last but not least the food is good here too. Because of the time of day I come weekly I haven’t been indulging in the menu and just enjoying a quiet green tea. I have had both breakfast and lunch on multiple occasions though and it has always been good.
If you’re a fan of The Book Cafe also you can like their Facebook page here. If you’re in Singapore and are looking for a quaint spot definitely check this place out. As for me I’ll continue my weekly ritual of my Tuesday mornings at the cafe. I just may pick up a few interesting stories to share with all the chatter around the couches too!