Small outlet plays to its strengths

Small outlet plays to its strengths

Tucked away in the busy Marine Parade Central hawker centre is a small second-hand bookshop that has been there since 1976.

Silver Kris Bookshop started out as a street-side kiosk in Marshall Road in 1965, renting out comics and magazines.

Today, it is still playing to its strengths.

Shelves in the tiny 133 sq ft stall are stacked floor to ceiling with novels such as those by Nora Roberts, and comics including the popular Spider-Man series.

Mr Andrew Low, 53, who helps run the stall his father started, said the heyday of second-hand bookshops is long gone.

People can now turn to the Internet to buy books and have them delivered or sent electronically to an e-reader.

"Before, customers only had bookshops. If we didn't have the titles they wanted, they would buy another book or wait for an order to arrive," said Mr Low.

Like other second-hand bookshops, he relies on his regulars, who mostly come on weekends. The stall is open every day except Tuesdays.

Readers know the books are current as Mr Low keeps a close watch on what is popular.

When the last instalment in the Harry Potter series was released in 2007, he sold more than 300 copies of the book at $36 each, about 20 per cent cheaper than the retail price.

Current trends are for "paranormal romance" novels in the ilk of the Twilight series.

For now, he intends to run his shop till at least 2017 when the lease ends.

He said: "This is a good location and it will be a pity if we have to move. I'll just wait and see."

Ng Kai Ling

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