I was filled with sadness when i saw an important notice board in the entrance of the bookshop. Kinokuniya at Liang Court is ceasing operation, future visit will be diverted to their current operating stores. Kinokuniya Liang Court was the first outlet that opened in Singapore back in December 1983. After 36 years of operation is kinda of hard to bid farewell.
This was a place i always hang out during my adolescence, because i love to check out the latest release of manga and also a hang out place with my school mates discussing about comics and games. Slowly moving into adulthood, i was flipping Japanese street fashion magazine, a subculture that the local wouldn’t most excited about it. I probably stepped into Kinokuniya bookshop at the age of 16. 13 years into their operation. I didn’t find out Kinokuniya because of Liang Court but because of the bookshop that attracted me to the premises.
They layout of the bookshop doesn’t have radical change in my memory till this day, the layout remains almost identical. The ambient lighting constantly project a light warm color, comfortable to the eyes of the readers. The space is not cramped but generous enough for people to manoeuvre easily even during peak hours during the weekends. The shelf durability is seems ever lasting, i wonder has it been there since day one.
Each time when i stepped in, my body knew exactly where to go check out my favourite reading materials. Sometimes i will stand among the Japanese crowd eagerly reading the newest release, checking out the stationary, as the years moved forward, the bookshop is required to evolve by bringing in new products for the next generation of children, and there are more books than ever as well - hence the rearrangement of books is always a challenge for the staffs.
The store patrons mainly are the Japanese working in Singapore, the people in this bookshop were more tone down in their voices, the minimum noise level which is a respect to the rest of the patrons who wish to read something off the shelf before buying, this strongly reflect the Japanese daily culture. This is one of the reason why i enjoy going there. Over time, i just realise this had become my second home. A store that i love to visit, after that i will patronise the supermarket at basement 1 to purchase some products and have a meal.
The staffs working in Kinokuniya is ever so polite and courteous in their service. Even on their last operation day, staffs are still working hard to rearrange the books properly rather than leaving it in a mess. Such diligent is hard to come by in retail nowadays. Am sure they are proud of themselves in their working environment, they should in fact.
Thank you for serving my reading passion for such a long time. I bid you goodbye with a heavy heart, or should i say, “Sayonara”. Till next store.