Book ends

Writer-bookseller Anthony Koh Waugh.
Writer-bookseller Anthony Koh Waugh.PHOTO: ZINKIE AW PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN
Writer-bookseller Anthony Koh Waugh.
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery.PHOTO: BOOKS KINOKUNIYA
Writer-bookseller Anthony Koh Waugh.
When Books Went To War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning.PHOTO: AMAZON
Writer-bookseller Anthony Koh Waugh.
The Secret Life Of Oscar Wilde by Neil McKenna.PHOTO: AMAZON

Who: Anthony Koh Waugh, 42, writer-bookseller

He is the founder of new bookshop Booktique, which opened at CityLink Mall on Aug 1.

The former freelance writer aims to stock books on writing and promote local books to overseas readers.

What are you reading now?

I have just begun reading Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery.

It had been on my shelf for months.

I needed a therapeutic read on the subject because I had been very affected by our fast-changing landscapes and increasingly cluttered public space.

This book has given me new perspectives on the impact of city planning on our happiness.

The author makes it a breeze for the layman to understand by conveying ideas through anecdotes from different cities.

I'm also reading When Books Went To War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning.

It has introduced me to the unsung heroes who fought against the Nazi bibliocaust and donated books to American troops.

It is hard to imagine soldiers reading books on the battlefield. Nowadays we can read in comfort and yet fewer people are reading. This is the book to remind us of the power of a good book.

What books would you save from a burning house?

The Secret Life Of Oscar Wilde by Neil McKenna.

Reading the new edition of this page-turner biography provided the escapism I badly needed when I was living in Sydney.

My late partner travelled frequently so I was alone in the house most of the time. I escaped to different worlds whenever I read and it kept my loneliness at bay.

Sentimental reason aside, I've always been fascinated by Wilde's unabashed flamboyance and his dalliance with rough trade.

•Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery ($36.92, Penguin, 2013) is available from Books Kinokuniya. When Books Went To War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning ($17.50, Mariner Books, 2014) and The Secret Life Of Oscar Wilde by Neil McKenna ($30.80, Arrow Books, 2004) are available from Amazon.com.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 16, 2015, with the headline 'Book ends'. Print Edition | Subscribe