LSA Loves is a weekly column where our editorial team raves about something they love. From skincare to a dish or a Netflix series, this is a look into what gets us ticking.
When it comes to bookstores, my benchmarks are simple: I like big bookstores, itty bitty bookstores, inner-city bookstores, pretty bookstores, and above all, independent bookstores.
While you may or may not forgive me for that unnecessary Lizzo quip, it doesn’t change the fact that I am a serious fiend when it comes to books and the institutions that house them. Especially in Singapore, where I believe we could all benefit from knuckling down to read actual novels and not just Instagram captions, locally-owned bookstores stand like a bastion against the onslaught of digitalism and the overt e-literacy that trumps, well, actual literacy.
I treasure each and every local bookstore we have. They are all special enclaves to me, but one new entrant to the scene has stood out for just how “same same but different” its DNA is. This is The Moon, an enchanting independent bookstore in Chinatown that is all tomes and treats curated as a salve for our weary age.
The Moon is a bookstore armed with a mission. A point is made to spotlight artists and authors of colour, as well as women, with half of the offerings on its shelves created by the demographic.
The Moon’s choice to place marginal voices at the fore is a microcosm for the direction literature and art as a whole is on right now. There’s no longer room for neutrality in writing. Apart from individual authors championing this cause, I give two thumbs up to any institution that broadcasts this important message to an audience.
This inclusivity extends beyond the books. The in-house café is friendly to an array of dietary needs, the brands stocked around the shop are all either local or socially conscious as well. Regular activities at The Moon frame the cosy floor as a safe social space for everyone that needs it — its queer book club, open to LGBTQIA+ women and non-binary folks, is one such event it holds monthly.
Sharing space with its social awareness is The Moon’s penchant for spirituality. Not religion, but the kind of looking-within crafted for the Co-Star generation, enabled by crystals, an in-house tarot reader and full-moon meditation sessions. Before you scoff and close this tab, hear me out: you don’t have to sleep with a crystal under your pillow or live in a cloud of burnt sage to respect a place that encourages introspection.
That is the beauty of The Moon, in my books (you will pardon this pun). Reading is an act both social and spiritual, and The Moon merely takes it to a literal dimension. In a city where we are constantly weary and all difference is quashed, The Moon is a necessary reminder that open arms exist between the pages of books, and in a bookstore in Chinatown.