Allow 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.