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Books to tide you through Covid-19

We haven’t been able to open for quite awhile now because of the lockdown, known officially in Singapore as the “circuit breaker”, to the consternation of all electrical engineers and technicians. The official “Circuit Breaker Period” ended on June 1, but most restrictions are still in place. 

For the time being, we’ll be operating online only. We’ll try to open our physical shop shortly after restrictions are lifted, but there’s a good chance we’ll be operating online only even after. Incidentally, do check out our revised shipping methods.

Now that our public service announcement is done and over with, we’d like to offer some comfort, amusement even, during these troubled times! Here are some books from our collection we think are particularly relevant during this period.


Is there a more helpful, more appropriate book to read these days? No, we say! This guide will help germaphobes (which I’m sure we’ve all become) to keep clean beyond the 8-step “How To Wash Your Hands Properly” poster we’ve all been subjected to. It also gives a good history of hygiene (yes there’s such a thing) and an explanation of sanitation systems. You’ll also learn all about essential pandemic-handling tips, in chapters like “Infection and Disinfection”, “Parasites”, “Climate and Weather”, “Food”, and sub-chapters on “Washing and Bathing”, “Exercise”, and so on.

The Art of the Table

Many Michelin-star restaurants are now delivering, and some are even sharing their secret recipes, so you can wine and dine at home. But what would a fine dining experience be without the ambience, the white tablecloth, or the exquisite table arrangement? The Art of the Table will help you fully recreate the Michelin-star experience by teaching you, in detail, how to fold your napkins, how to arrange your cutlery and so on. 

The Decameron

A story about how seven women and three men flee the city of Florence and confine themselves to a villa to escape the Black Death. For ten days, they are stuck at home with nothing to do as they wait out the pandemic (sounds familiar?). They kill time by telling each other stories to keep themselves entertained. This literary classic, written in the 14th century, is surprisingly modern in its themes of love, lust, business and morality.

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

From what we gather, most people working from home are in the very strange position of feeling both overworked and idle at the same time. Overworked, because Work from Home is still work, and idle because there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do except stare at your computer, replying emails or something, while your cooped up child screams bloody murder. If you’re experiencing this, you might perhaps find some comfort in humourist Jerome K. Jerome’s Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, which contains the following quote and more:

“It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen.”

Loafing Around the Globe

We felt like we needed to include a travel book in this list. Past holidays are a dim and distant memory; future holidays seem too much to hope for. What to do, but travel vicariously through some explorer of old. 

While we have loads of travel books in our store, we recommend Loafing Around the Globe because it covers Africa, Asia, Australia and America, all in one book. It’s also a fun read, and might inspire your next travel holiday, which will hopefully happen before the apocalypse.