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Goodbye, Thambi: Iconic Holland Village magazine store to close after over 80 years




The strategy had worked. Now and then, Sam sees customers engrossed in a magazine or two, and knows he made the right choice.

Some of his notable customers over the decades have been ministers “in their shorts, quietly deep in thought”, he said with a smile. “Sometimes I scratch my head and think I’ve seen this guy somewhere … I approach them and talk to them, and they ask me how’s business.”

The current affairs aficionado, who counts The Economist as his all-time favourite magazine, often feels like he is “flying” when he sees these public figures at his store.

And for the curious, their chosen literature tends to be about current affairs and cars, Sam shared.

Then there are customers with family members in prison. They visit his store to find reading material for their incarcerated loved ones, he said.

“There are (customers at) both ends of the spectrum, so I get a totally different picture of what life is. It’s a learning journey for me.”

Despite having overheard younger customers’ surprise that magazines were still around, he doesn’t believe print will ever be gone for good.

“Print is dying, but print is not dead. It’s going to be a U-turn”, he said.

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