The secret gift of reading is time
Wardah Books is a Singapore based bookstore located along Bussorah Street in a district called Kampong Gelam. The area is steeped in Muslim literary history of the region and we are happy to have been here since we established in 2002 and have also just completed a major renovation in Jan 2022!
Located in a 100-year old conservation building that used to be the home and offices of the Chief Kadhi of Singapore during the colonial period. Our range of books reflects the cosmopolitan nature of Singapore's Muslim society, so we have books on the core teachings of Islam, such as books on the Quran and Hadith, alongside books on regional history, art, philosophy and current affairs.
We also have a growing children's section – there is a dedicated 'Children's Room'.
Our bookshop also host author events and have organised a book club which has been running for 3 years, we strongly believe in supporting readers and in fostering a community of readers.
Ibrahim (pictured) and his booksellers all have slightly different responsibilities and different areas of interest. Customers still value coming into the shop and interacting with booksellers and with each other. The space of the bookshop and how we display books has a huge bearing on customer experience and their ability to discover titles.
The profile of customers has changed over the years. For some reason, about 75 per cent of our customers are women. When we started out, the gender ratio was about even, and may have even skewed male slightly. We don’t specifically target a female readership so I assume this reflects a change in the way contemporary men and women read in society at large. By this I mean to say that men in Singapore are probably reading much less nowadays. We are not sure what to make of it.
Despite running for 20 years, Wardah started very slowly and tentatively in 2002. The retail shop itself opened in February 2003, little did we know that we opened just weeks before the major SARS influenza epidemic broke out in Singapore. So we had a rough start and it took a long while for us to get our footing, but we noticed that we had the support of readers from the very start, Alhamdulillah!
If you are visiting or live in Singapore, please do visit!
58 Bussorah Street