Book store

Closing of a second-hand bookstore in the Bras Basah complex by July due to high rental costs

Closure of Bras Basah Complex Knowledge Center by July

Many of us may remember going to the Bras Basah complex and visiting the welcoming bookstores with our parents when we were young and excited.

However, as we age, those happy journeys have become rare.

People tend to read fewer books these days because of social media, which also means second-hand bookstores are having a really hard time surviving.

A second-hand bookstore in Bras Basah, Knowledge Book Centre, will unfortunately soon have to cease operations.

Source: on instagram

The decision was made due to the owner’s advanced age and high rental charges.

Closure of Knowledge Book Center in Bras Basah due to high rental fees

The heartbreaking news was first shared on a ICT Tac by @thestudyhustle on Saturday (June 4).


it is not sponsored. I just feel sad that he looks so sad. #studytok #study #books #bookworm #bookrecs #tiktoksg #books #school #studywithme #studygram

♬ original sound – Diego R

Tucked away on the third floor of the Bras Basah complex, the Knowledge Book Center will unfortunately close by July 2022.

Talk to MS NewsSecond-hand bookstore owner Mr Ismail, 69, said dejectedly that there were several reasons for the store’s closure.

He shared that the number one reason was high rental costs. When the pandemic hit, business unfortunately stagnated.

Fewer people were visiting the bookstore, resulting in lower sales. He says that the store’s income is not enough to cover the rental costs, let alone the salaries of the staff.

arm basah bookstore

Source: @books.bmmd on instagram

Second, Mr. Ismail revealed that he wants to retire from this business soon. MS News understands that the 60-year-old has no plans to move the business elsewhere.

Third, like many other small businesses, he shared that he couldn’t find anyone willing to take over the bookstore. He added that his family members already had their own careers.

Granddaughter and bibliophiles hope locals can show their support

After the TikTok Video put online, many bibliophiles regretted the closure of this second-hand bookshop.

A few recalled how they rushed to the bookstore to get their textbooks and revisions during their school days.

arm basah bookstore

Source: @thestudyhustle on ICT Tac

One even said the bookstore was like a “lifesaver” during poly and high school.

Source: @thestudyhustle on ICT Tac

Mr Ismail’s granddaughter also commented on the video, saying ‘the rent is so expensive’ they can no longer afford to cover the lease.

Source: @thestudyhustle on ICT Tac

Along with many other locals, she urged the public to visit the bookstore and get “everything you (they) want” before the store finally closes.

Owner looking for a passionate bookseller

Mr. Ismail also said MS News that despite all the struggles he had to face before making the difficult and final decision to close the bookstore, he has not forgotten all the support and help given to him during these difficult times.

He shared that the bookstore had fortunately received help from the government during the pandemic in the form of monetary assistance to help his business cope.

arm basah bookstore

Source: @hemanchong on instagram

He also recalled with satisfaction the happy times when the business was still flourishing, adding that he had met many customers along the way and regular customers over the years.

For now, he hopes to find a potential bookseller who is passionate about continuing his business. Otherwise, it will no longer continue the bookstore activity.

Anyone interested in taking over the store can contact Mr Ismail at 90234533.

Knowledge Book Center open daily

The store is currently offering a 50% closing sale on all book items – fiction and non-fiction – until the store closes in July.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a trip down.

Address: 231 Bain Street, #03-35/37B Bras Bash Complex, Singapore 180231
Opening hours: 10.30am-7pm (Mon-Thu & Sat), 2.30pm-7pm (Fri), 11am-6pm (Sun & bank holidays)
Contact: 63367530
Nearest MRT station: Arm Basah

Support our favorite local bookstores

The pandemic has severely affected many small local businesses like Mr. Ismail’s.

Additionally, as everyone becomes more tech-savvy and accustomed to reading online, bookstores may find it even harder to stay afloat.

At times like these, we must always make sure to support used bookstores who have consistently done their best to provide us with the resources we need, often at relatively reasonable prices.

We hope that Mr Ismail will be able to forge as many precious memories as possible before the store closes. Those who remember the store can take a trip to say goodbye to it.

Do you have news to share? Contact us by email at [email protected]

Featured image adapted from @hemanchong on instagram.