Published on 31 March 2017

With the rising popularity of book clubs in Singapore, it’s now possible to find your own word-loving tribe.

By Melanie Lee

While reading in itself is a solitary affair, geeking out over books you’ve read with fellow book-lovers can be a meaningful communal experience. This is where book clubs come in.

Australian writer Raelee Chapman set up the Singapore Ladies Asian Literary Book Group a few years ago as a way to acquaint herself with local culture. “I’ve learned so much about Singapore’s history from reading local literature. And this has encouraged me to do more research about this country I’m living in,” she says.

Local author Audrey Chin, who also joins this group for their monthly meetings discussing Asian fiction, believes being in a book club informs her in her writing craft. “I feel it’s important to interact with readers and understand how there can be such different interpretations and responses to a text,” she explains.

Another member of the group, housewife May Murayama, makes it a point to join several book clubs as a way to keep her mind active. “Sometimes, I am required to read books that I think I won’t like, such as science fiction. But then, they do end up being quite enjoyable.”

Feel like being in a book club could be your jam? Check out our list of book clubs in Singapore as well as a few suggested pointers on book club etiquette to get you started!

Bookclubs in Singapore

Photo: EthosBooks


A book club run by local publisher Ethos Book, AfterWords gets readers and writers to meet in an informal setting to discuss reading and writing. The programme varies depending on the collaborating author. Next month, author Clara Chow will be working with artist Chun Kai Qun to inspire participants to write anti-realist fiction after looking into the anthology this is how you walk on the moon. Join Ethos Books Facebook page for updates on upcoming AfterWords sessions.

Deep Reading and Discussion

This book club focuses on classics or well-reviewed contemporary books. As its name implies, deep discussions are expected at their meetings. For example, they are currently reading The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye and Persepolis so members can compare these political graphic novels together at their next meeting. Click here for more information.

Photo: Feminist Book Club

Singapore-Based Feminist Book Club

This book club reads feminist texts of any book genre. It usually meets every last Friday of the month, and relating the book discussion to life stories is encouraged. Note: You don’t have to identify as a feminist to join this club. Click here for more information.

Photo: Melanie Lee

Singapore Ladies Asian Literary Book Group

A book group made up of locals and expats. It meets up monthly to read fiction books set in Asia and/or are written by Asian authors. For more information, e-mail raeleec [at]

The National Library Board also organises book clubs as part of the Read! Singapore initiative. Click here for more information.

Bookclub Etiquette

Read the book that is to be discussed for the book club meeting. At the very least, get through 75% if you’re strapped for time – but be prepared to have the ending spoiled!

Ensure that the books you read in your book club are readily available in public libraries. Not everyone would want to buy the books.

If your book club is reading a title by a local author, do try to invite him or her down. Whether the author declines or accepts, it is a courteous gesture that lets him or her know the book is being read.

During book club meetings, try to let every single person present have something to say about the book rather than just having a few dominating the conversation. Optional: prepare discussion questions for the meeting so the group stays focused on the book.

It’s ok to express different opinions about a book as long as these views are shared respectfully. In fact, it is these differences that make for interesting book club discussions.

Scroll Up