Making the Move – Part II

When I first moved to Singapore a little less than two years ago, I did a write-up of the bookish aspects of the move. I’ve moved to two different flats since then, but there weren’t big changes involved in those so I didn’t feel the need to give an update. This time it’s different and you’ll find out why in a bit. Just to give an overview, property is insanely expensive in Singapore so rent is my biggest expense per month. Studio or one bedroom flats aren’t very common here so people tend to share flats. Ever since I moved here, I’ve always rented one furnished room, which includes a bed, a closet, a desk and a chair. The first two flats that I stayed at had three bedrooms while my current one has four.

My first problem in moving was how to transfer the books from one place to another. I thought I didn’t have that much stuff so I decided not to hire movers and just put all my things in a cab on moving day. I thought boxes filled with books would be too heavy for me to carry so I put my books in suitcases instead. I managed to fill one large and one small suitcase with books. I was a little surprised that I had so many books because I haven’t been buying a lot of paperbacks or hardcovers since I moved to Singapore because books are pretty expensive over here. The books that I have here are mostly books from Manila, my US trip last year and some that I’ve received as gifts or review copies.

I was pretty lucky that the previous two rooms that I rented before had bookshelves, so I didn’t have to worry about where to put my books. However, the room that I moved into doesn’t have bookshelves. I thought about just getting clear plastic boxes to store my books in but when I got to Ikea, I found out that they have some affordable bookshelves. Getting several plastic boxes would have cost just as much as one bookshelf so I decided to just get the latter. I ended up buying Trysil drawers (to keep sheets, towels and clothes in because surprise, surprise, I didn’t have enough closet space) and a Billy bookshelf. That was the first time I’ve ever bought furniture from Ikea because I have always been worried about accumulating too much stuff that it would be difficult for me to move around in Singapore or to move back to Manila. But hey, I needed storage space so I went ahead and bought these. Although I had minor difficulties in putting these furniture pieces together, I still thought it was a lot of fun:

Moving - Trysil and Billy

I was pretty happy when I was finally able to unpack my books:

Moving - suitcase to shelf

I chose just the right size of Billy for the number of books that I have:

Moving - filled bookshelf

Aside from the Ikea stuff, I am now also the proud owner of a used armchair. I’ve always wanted to have my own armchair because it seemed perfect for reading. So when I found out that the owners of the flat were selling a one-year-old armchair for less than half the original price, I went ahead and grabbed it. Ha, even if it’s cheaper than a brand-new one, this armchair cost more than both the bookshelf and the drawers. I’m making good use of it though – I’ve curled up to read on it and I’ve also fallen asleep while reclining.

Moving - armchair

As you can see, my reading corner gets a lot of natural light during the day. But on weekdays, I do most of my reading at night and the light in my room isn’t bright enough for reading. I bought a book light but it gives up on me after 30 minutes or so. I thought about buying a stand lamp but I think they’re quite pricey at around SGD60 (USD47, PHP2131). This is why I’ve considered buying a Kindle Paperwhite even though my Kindle Touch is still in good shape. I’ve heard rumors that there will be a new version of the Paperwhite that will be released this year so I’m thinking of just waiting for that. In the meantime, I’ll make do with the desk lamp that I have (I have to prop it up on my lap when I’m reading on the armchair).

Quite a lot of changes from my previous room with the light situation as the only big problem. I’m open to suggestions if any of you can think of a solution. Also feel free to share your own stories about moving from one place to another and how that affected your life as a reader or book blogger.


Edited to add:

I forgot to include pictures of what the wall above my bookshelf and desk looks like. I taped some scrapbook sheets, gift wrappers and a calender of The Hobbit, which I received as a gift last year:

Moving - scrapbook sheet walls

Here’s a closer look at the scrapbook sheets because some of them are book-themed:

Moving - scrapbook sheets 1

Moving - scrapbook sheet 2

I love this clever play on periodic table elements.

I love this clever play on periodic table elements.

Last but not the least, here’s The Hobbit calendar:

Moving - The Hobbit calendar

16 thoughts on “Making the Move – Part II

  1. It might be worth buying the stand lamp if it’s something you use every day. That’s the logic I use when something’s a bit pricey, but I know I’ll get use of it. But maybe you can get a deal or find a nice used one too. 🙂
    I like the set up in your new place – yay for a comfy reading chair!

    • Hmm that’s a good way of thinking about it. But then I thought that I can just put the money that I would have used for a stand lamp to the Kindle Paperwhite fund. I would have to think about it for a while.

      Yay, glad you like it. I would have taken pictures of the whole room but it’s still pretty messy. Oh I should have included pictures of The Hobbit calendar that I have and some of the book-related scrapbook sheets that I taped to my walls.

      • True true, must decide where your money works best! (I’m interested in the book-related scrapbook sheets – but this sounds familiar… did you post them on tumbr one time?)

      • I was really tempted to order the Kindle Paperwhite in time for my birthday but then I found out about the rumors regarding the new version. I hope they announce it soon!

        I’ve edited the post to add the scrapbook sheets and the calendar. 🙂 I posted it on Instagram (which is cross-posted to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr so you might have seen it in one of those networks).

  2. Or could you get a hanging lamp? One that’s basically a light bulb in some sort of shade that hangs from a hook above your chair? (it looks like a really comfy chair–well done!)

    • Hmm I wonder if the hanging lamp would be cheaper or if it would be about the same as the stand lamp? I would have to look into it. Thanks for the suggestion! Yes, the armchair is super comfy, I love it. I usually sit on it everyday after work. If I had enough light in that corner, that would be the perfect reading nook.

  3. I love my Kindle Paperwhite if that helps. I had the 2nd-gen (or maybe 3rd) Kindle before springing for the PW when it was released, and don’t regret it at all. There are some trade-offs (e.g. you’ve to swipe to turn pages, no side buttons) but the lit screen is really good.

    Love those drawers and that armchair looks amazingly comfortable!


    • I have no doubt that I’ll love the Kindle Paperwhite when I do get a copy. What happened to your old Kindle, why did you decide to get a Paperwhite? I have a Kindle Touch and it doesn’t have side buttons either, you have to tap the screen to turn the pages.

      LOL thanks for commenting on the drawer! That was a lot harder to put together than the bookshelf. Yes, the armchair is real comfy. Even my friends who have dropped by to hang out in my room like the armchair.

      • Errr… I think mostly because I just wanted the latest Kindle and caved in a weak moment 😉

        But partly because I’ve a bad habit of reading in a dimly-lit room and wanted to avoid eye strain…

        I think I missed my side buttons the most, but got used to swiping really quickly. If yours is the Touch, I don’t think you’ll see much difference at all.


      • Yeah, I want to avoid eye strain as well, especially since I spend most of my day in front of the computer. I had the side buttons in my previous Kindle, the one before my Kindle Touch. I was okay with the transition to just touching the surface to turn the page. You’re right, I think the swiping won’t be that different from how the Kindle Touch works.

  4. Your new room looks great! I especially love the scrapbook pages you used to decorate (they’re awesome, and I may have to take notes and do that in a future room), and the armchair (which I dream of having in an apartment one day). Glad the move went okay!

    • I actually considered putting up some postcards but then I saw the scrapbook sheet that has a book design so I thought it would be a good idea to use those instead. Yes, do get an armchair if you can! Very useful for readers like us. 🙂

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