Salaam Dear Reader,
Research on learning and reading, and global industry trends, have consistently shown that print books remain the standard for the preservation, announcement, exposition, synthesis, and transmission of knowledge.
While the technology of books have by and large remained the same, reading habits have atrophied, becoming shallower and more dispersed with the advent of social media and digital screens, to say nothing of the atrophy of the human heart which is the seat of understanding. Experts in the neuroscience of reading, such as Maryanne Wolf, advance the idea that good reading habits can be recovered with a return to deep reading long-form text.
Staying on the theme of recovery and return, let's go back a century or so.
In the middle of the 19th century, the first Muslims bookshops in Singapore were clustered in Kampong Glam around Sultan Mosque, especially along Sultan Road (known to the Malays as Lorong Masjid Sultan, but later renamed Bussorah Street in October 1909 by the municipal authorities).
Singapore’s place as a cosmopolitan centre in the region was by then well established, but it is often overlooked that Singapore was also a free port for the trafficking of new Malay political ideas and Islamic religious attitudes. The medium for all this was print. And the place where readers could readily get hold of their print material was in the many bookshops that used to line Bussorah Street.
For the last two decades, Wardah Books has been the only Muslim bookshop on this street. But not any more. Bookshops are returning.
We are so pleased to announce that we will be sharing our home at 58 Bussorah Street with Nurul Anwar Bookstore. Nurul Anwar Bookstore specialises in Malay-language books and we believe that this will dovetail very nicely with Wardah Books' English-language specialisation.
Nurul Anwar Bookstore will begin operations on the second floor at 58 Bussorah Street – turn left at the top of the stairs – on Saturday, 18 June 2022.
Together, we hope to support readers in our community and to help recover good reading habits by returning to the deep reading of physical books.
May we help each other in goodness.