Thou shall read

book_pile1.jpgbook_pile1.jpgAllow me to obsess a little. Now, one MPH Bookstore in Bangsar is expected. Two MPH Bookstores in Bangsar are welcomed. Three MPH Bookstores in Bangsar?  That’s just paradise. At the risk of jeopardizing my bills-paying-career, I can now bury my face in thousands of books on MPH’s display shelves at any time I wish. Let’s face the reality here; I don’t have all the money in the world to buy all the books I want to read. Books in Malaysia are still exorbitantly priced compared to countries like India, the UK orUnited States. However, places like MPH Bookstores allow me to read for as long as I want without being judged or worst chase out of the store.  

I sincerely cannot recall how my love affair with books begins. I guess it all started when I was growing up in a little town of Kuala Krai. In primary school, I was a lot taller and a tad gawky compared to my other counterparts. That didn’t make me all the rage with other popular/normal kids in school. I was cast aside by the popular kids and often labeled as “weird”. Try as I might to get along with them, but to no avail. Hence, I turned to books. Books silently provide me that much-needed-companionship since socializing isn’t my forte.  

The district was so forgotten and always neglected in so far as development is concerned.Reading materials in the local bookstores were so scarce that I relied heavily on the public libraries. I still remember when all that I look forward to every month is the latest copy of Dewan Pelajar. If I am lucky, the bookshop owner would have a copy of the Archie comic book.

I was hungry for more. I ransacked my late father’s old boxes and found my first exposure to English books. My favourite has always been and will always be “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee. I read and reread the book until it turned yellowish in colour. I yapped about it with my father until he turned blue in the face. The memories of this keep flashing on my mind even though Father has passed away six years ago.  Books and printed-words are indeed addictive to me and hopefully, to the rest of my fellow Malaysians. What sets us apart from the rest of other nation is our knowledge.

It saddens me deeply looking at our children these days; they prefer Play Station 2 or the X-Box as opposed to reading. They choose loitering at home with MTV videos blasting in the background as opposed to frequenting the libraries. Call me old fashioned if you wish, but what benefit could you gain from computer games and MTV. Hardly any is my guess. Alas, a little entertainment along the way is good deviation but too much of it can be hazardous.  Parents, too, must be blamed for not restricting endless entertainment. If you do not encourage your young ones to read more, do have a conscience, start now.

I am not the nerd you must have imagined that I am by now. There are other pursuits that garner my interest as well. My mouth is still drooling every time I pass that exquisite range of shoes from Nine West. I am still contemplating on how to afford the hobo hand bag exclusively designed by Gucci. My neck is itching to wear that gorgeous gold chain on display at Habib Jewels. I am also a sucker for stationeries from CZip Lee. I purchase everything from that family-owned store, from paper clips to electric pencil sharpener. I know, I was pleasantly surprised as well when I found out they do sell that.  

My mother in law is still harboring hope that I will finally be interested in a more domesticated chore. She still wishes that I will eventually learn how to cook and clean. I just adore her optimisms. I do not think I will ever run out of materials to read. I love you too Mama.

8 thoughts on “Thou shall read

  1. Reading this, I told myself, I just got to respond to it. And here I am. Kinda weird ( in a nice way) actually, I was there, at Bangsar ViIIage some hours ago. Almost closing time but wanting to check out the place, I made a quick dash over. I saw all the usual stores when my eyes caught that familiar MPH logo from where I was standing, within the Starbucks area.

    I reacted almost in the same manner as you did. Now I have one more reason or an excuse to plan out my meetings in Bangsar. Only earlier on during lunch, I was telling a friend that she should make it a habit to go to the bigger bookstore and spend her time there since she was complaining about having to wait for 6 hours for someone and not knowing what else to do to kill off her time. That would be exactly what I would do if I ever find myself in a predicament as her’s.

    On a sad note though, seeing MPH just now also made me getting all sentimental and emotional. Am a weekend dad, but it has been months since I spent times with my kids. I won’t go into detail as to why I am not seeing them anymore but visiting MPH used to be one of the many activities I do on a regular basis with them during those weekends they were with me. The lil one would go and grab books of his interest and later on, him sitting on my lap, I will be reading them to him, one after another. The older one would be sitting next to me, reading his.

    Once, the lil one interrupted my reading by telling me how much he loves me and rewarded me with a kiss on my cheek! That, was priceless and really took me by surprise. I know, due to work commitment then, I wasn’t a good dad during my days as a married man. Through reading and doing stuff together, I was able to bring myself closer to both of them. I surely missed those moments. And I must stop for I am starting to feel that sudden surge of similar emotions again.

  2. Dearest Single Dad,

    My heart sank after learning that you don’t get to spend time with your kids on a regular basis. Sometimes, that’s just the way it is with life. I ll say a prayer for you tonight. Hopefully, you get to see your kids more often.

    On a lighter note, MPH is really bankrupting me. I am currently reading The Reluctant Politician – Memoirs of Tun Dr. Ismail. What about you reading now?

  3. Only after logging off earlier, in the wee hours of the morning, I realized that I was THE first person to leave a post here at your blog. Hmmm, something about being the FIRST, always nostalgic and carry tons of sentimental feel to it. And on Valentine’s Day too (the stated time up there wasn’t accurate, you got to do something about it unless, it was intentionally done)!

    Not getting to spend time on a regular basis and being “denied by force” is 2 separate things. Makes me wonder all throughout the morning, what sort of a lawyer are you. Are you good? Passionate when it comes to taking up cases and representing your clients? Which area of the law you specialized in? Civil or Syariah? Sorry Elviza, this being a public domain, perhaps I shouldn’t even asking you all these. But when one is being pushed to a corner and feeling a lil lost and with very little resources left to fight a good fight, it’s really frustrating and compounded with not knowing how the legal system works makes it all harder for a regular Joe like me. You have my email address, and should you find yourself in a charitable mood to share me with your take on how it works, that would be great. I won’t impose on you.

    Sorry again.

    Nice book you got there, I’m sure. Read the synopsis during the lauch recently and there is one particular area I find most interesting and so relevant, more so today with the recent ASLI’s report on the Bumiputeras share in the country’s economy and it being brought up during PAU. Must be made compulsory reading for all Malays. Yep, the NEP!

    Perhaps, you may want to write about it later, once you have digested fully on its contents. Would be nice, reading your thoughts on something that had been hijacked by politicians to strengthen their dominance and positions, all under the pretense to “give the Malays a fair chance to compete on a level playing field” or ” a leg up” as some would call it. This is my personal take on that.

    What am I reading now? Just some old graphic comics. Compilations on few of Sin City series by Frank Miller. Gone through them few times already and yet, I find myself still able to read again and again. The power of written words and attention grabbing images! Give it a try if you are able to lay your hands on them still. If not, try watching Sin City the movie if you haven’t yet. Close adaptation from the comics, almost like watching the pages on a big screen or monitor. Finished 3 of Dan Brown’s books recently. Bad habit of mine, once I start, I must finish it in one reading. There you have it.

    Salam.

  4. Dearest Single Dad,
    🙂 absolutely right. You the first person to leave a comment at my web blog. This is rather new to me. A friend suggested that I start this. Since no publisher ever want to publish my pathetic columns.

    Yeah, that’s what they say about being the first – always nostalgic.

    Still struggling with the whole new blog thing. Often read other people’s blogs. Never have one myself. Will adjust the time soon. Do you have a blog yourself?

    On the legal issue – I don’t do syariah. Mostly banking and commercial litigation. If you have question my email is elviza@gmail.com. On the other hand, if you need help, a good friend of mine is a competent syariah lawyer. Just give me a shout.

    I wrote about what you suggested me to write! Hmmm, you can read my mind. The editor is not publishing it, it’s coming on to strongly I guess. Never mind.

    I m taking your advice on Frank Miller – if it’s no good, I ll pass the claim onto you!

    Yeah, dan Dan Brown man is evil. I once finished his 2 books in 48 hours – you can imagine the chaos!

    p/s: sorry for the late reply. The streamyx running havoc at home and in the office, useless service provider!

  5. I might take up with your offer to hook me up with your syariah lawyer friend. When am ready for that. I hope I still have voice left in me to shout. It has been one exhausting struggle, one after another. It drains you out good. Both, physically and mentally.

    For now, your email will be good for something else. But rest assured, those spammers won’t get it from me. Not even if my bones rearranged in different places. Unless, they promising me that I’ll be ‘dingle’ soon. Lets pray they don’t know of my weakness yet. So before they get to me, your sister’s number again?

    I can tell you all the reasons why Frank Miller’s Sin City can blow me away at any given times but I rather you decide for yourself. To start whetting you, go read your email. I was lucky, there is someone out there who’s a fan to his comics too, and had taken the liberty to do a panel by panel comparison between the comic’s version and the screen adaptation.

    As Frank Miller would put it, “Go! Enjoy it.”

  6. Dearest Single Dad,

    Got your email. Thanks alot. On the way to the bookshop to grab one. But first I must dash off to see an old friend of mine. She just got back from Sheffield yesterday, so excited to see her again after all these years.

    Ok if this Miller guy is no good, you are paying me back!

  7. If this Miller guy is indeed no good, I’ll lend you whatever collection of his I have that you couldn’t lay your hands on. I prized them all but for you I would.

  8. hey, where is this CZip Lee? I’m looking for electric pencil sharpeners and can’t seem to find any at all. My hands are so tired from sharpening all my kids’ pencils.

    Hi Sexy Mum, CZip Lee is in Jalan Telawi Tiga Bangsar. It’s at the end corner of a building facing Bangsar Village II. Hope you can find it

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