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5 Books About Singapore for People Who Don’t Like to Read

Let the pictures do the talking, or rather, storytelling. 

I don’t know about you, but my favourite gift to give anyone is a book. But we know reading is not everyone’s cup of tea these days (But why?!). In fact, less than half of Singapore residents read at least one “literary book” a year, according to a recent survey. (Read more about it here.)

So we figured, meh, maybe sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have books that are focused on visual aesthetics. Here are some which are heavy on pictures and drawings to give the reader a glimpse of Singapore, its people and products.

Singapore: World City by Kim Inglis 

Who doesn’t like impressive glossy photos of the Lion City? With over 300 full-color photographs, this book unveils how our tiny city-state achieved success throughout its short history. It also include snapshots of Singapore’s National Day Parade, past and present, as well as its well-loved food!

Sketches of the Lion City by Lorette E. Roberts  

The second edition of this book includes recent developments in the city that have enhanced the Singapore skyline. Besides the usual famous Singapore sights and icons, artist and illustrator Lorette E. Roberts also captured residential buildings and the variety of flowers and trees found in the country.

Scenes of Singapore: A Watercolour Album by Foo Kwee Horng

Take a tour through the country’s iconic buildings, neighbourhoods and picturesque landscapes and scenes — in watercolour. 

Local artist Foo Kwee Horng paints everything you want to show your friends and family about Singapore, from the Botanic Gardens and Raffles Hotel to our iconic shophouses and places of worship.

Souvenirs From Singapore – 100 Everyday Objects Book (designed by Hanson Ho of H55)

Okay, so maybe you’re already familiar with Singapore’s landscapes and such. But can you identify Singapore things? That’s right, this book focuses on the objects that ordinary Singaporeans use/used in their daily lives. Try to see if you know what they are (or have used them) as you go through this “pictorial dictionary”.

Our Neighbourhoods series by Urban Sketchers Singapore

How well do you know Singapore’s neighbourhoods and heartlands? 

Urban Sketchers Singapore, a local network of artists, shows you parts of the island’s beloved residential areas with their sketches. Each book also contains snippets of memories and stories of the area by former and current residents, and the artists’ observations as they created their art. Check out their beautiful drawings of Geylang Serai, Chinatown, Little India, Queenstown, Katong, Bedok, Tiong Bahru and Toa Payoh

I’m still waiting on them to get over here and draw my ‘hood. Come on, you guys. 

By Muneerah Bee, March 2016 

Photo: Supermama’s website

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