Monday, March 8, 2010

A Bibliophile's Dream Library

Hey all,

So now you all know the depressing truth about bookstores and romance novels in Singapore. My heart was broken, but you know me. I press on looking for the best in things.

And when the next week on one of my rambles I came across the Singapore National Library, I thought perhaps my prayers had been answered.

Let me tell you about this awesome collection of books, drama and art.

First off, as you can tell by the picture it is bloody huge!!! It is sixteen stories tall, not counting basements ( I have no idea what goes on down there) but they only use every other one for actual storage. The inbetween floors are for bathrooms, meeting rooms and so on.

But let me tell you, the rest is a work of art itself. It's beautiful, very modern and very open. The buildings in Singapore are all renown for their artistic merit. Architects adore wide open windows, spaces and balconies over here and it shows in this building as well. Here are a few pics of the different parts of the library.

This is the first level or lobby where you get directions. You can see the wide open spaces that I refer to in this blog.

This first one is the Chinese Reading Room. Very cool and utilitarian.

This next room is one you can't take a picture of--one of the reference libraries. I'm not really sure why they feel the high security is needed, but there you go!

And this last picture is of the main reading area. As you can see it is quite large and beautifully maintained. Seems to go on forever, doesn't it?

Like I said, the first floor is like an information center where you can ask questions and get directions. The main library is up on floor 3, if I remember right. (My camera battery died so I couldn't document stuff. All these pics are from online) It is decently comprehensive. A good size room for the kids, a large alcove for YA and then off to the side a pretty large room for Fiction books. Which is where I went immediately and searched for romance.

To my relief, there was a bit more interest in romance within the library system here. Not as much as we'd have in the states, but at least this time I had two full stacks, both sides, of romance authors. All my favorites were there and I was able to take a deep breath and think I might be able to make it. LOL

You can click on the pic to see it better, but I saw Nora Roberts, Amanda Quick, Elizabeth Lowell and Linda Howard just to name a few.

The books were all in excellent shape, well taken care of and displayed. It was very much like any other library I've been in around the world.

But this floor was the only one like that. The rest of the building was pretty amazing to me. And something I'd like to see the states take a hard look at. I think these Singaporeans have a good thing going here.

The next three floors are all slated for one thing and one thing only. Research. It was all reference library and study alcoves. Three floors worth. Now that's some serious research going on! And you couldn't take a backpack in. You had to leave anything over a small purse size in lockers outside. A guard sat there and watched you and everything. That seemed a little too serious to me. LOL

But it was pretty amazing. All those reference books. And then on the next floor was something I'd never seen in a regular library. They had an actual study hall. A HUGE room set up just for people to study in, with places to hook up your computer and everything. And the place was packed!!!

Next to it was something equally cool. A garden area. Tucked in on one of the upper floors, it gives people another place to sit, read or study. When we where there students were sprawled all over the place, and they have plugs out there so you can hook up your computer too!

To have this oasis in the middle of a sixteen story building boggled the mind, but it is something quite a few of these high rises have. I believe it is a cultural thing. A place to calm the senses. Maybe even a Feng Shui placement? It's a thought and one I'd love to see in libraries back home. I love sitting outside to read and work, so this place is just perfect.

They also have conference rooms, audio video areas and on one of the top floors a huge cafe area with a view that rivals a birds nest. Talk about beautiful. Their biggest draw is a very nice theatre where professional touring stage shows are seen. Jonathon and I are going to go see a play the end of March called Liao Zhai Rocks! It's a rock musical based on a supernatural love story. Sounds right up my alley, doesn't it! LOL

So, all in all, the library system over here has restored my faith in the Singaporeans. *smile* I've lived in many places, but as long as I have access to old friends, I am always at home!

Check back tomorrow to have some fun!!! I've been tagged to play Truth and Lies and you all get to play too!!!!

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

What a fantastic place to hang out at! I would love it! I could spend hours...maybe days there!

CJ England said...


It would be easy to do. The place is gianormous! LOL