Paradigm Mall’s Popular Bookstore (May 2012) review

DISCLAIMER : Curiously, I saw people like reviewing makeup stores and clothes shop and I never see anyone did an individual bookstore review so to add more local flavour into this heavily book review blog, in the future, I’ll be doing a personal review on all the bookstores that I’ve gone and frankly, I think I’ve gone to most of the bookstores except Kelantan, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak, hopefully enough I could go to every bookstore in this country.. wishes2.  Honestly, I had gone to a lot of  universities bookshops to mall bookshop to indie bookshop to specialised bookstores and frankly, its a natural progression. Besides, food reviews blog are way overrated and unoriginal.

I plan to do a book review today after I went to Paradigm this afternoon but I had bakery class tonight until near midnight so I haven’t had time to update this post until now… which was… after midnight. Naturally.

There’s a new mall right across the highway near my house called Paradigm Mall Kelana Jaya which I’ve waited years to finish and FINALLY after 3 “unfinished” and overdue datelines from 2011 to middle of 2012, it finally launched to public today. Me and my sister walk to the mall and see what’s the fuss about.

Despite being so near to my house, we had to take a long walk to avoid crossing the highway on the road itself and use jejantas like normal road-traffic-avoiding-people. Like really, developers wanted people to use own four wheel vehicles in an overcrowded city. This place isn’t a forest, people, you should think about creating walk-friendly city instead of traffic jams which everyone was moaning and annoyed about every single day.

So far, the construction is rushed and there’s a lot of stuff need cleaning but all I’m concerned was the book store which was at the 2nd level which was actually the fifth floor (above Harvey Norman).

Oh freakin ALL new untouched books……just way awesome….

last week I complained about Popular Sunway Pyramid stack’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” in front of its entrance. In case, people who randomly buy it because of the said discounts. It is a Bondage Discipline Sadomasochist Twilight Online Fanfiction which was slated by some unknown publisher and totally renamed the character in ctr-replace to make the same fanfiction into a bestselling overrated book that people gush about (oh please, I’ve read better stuff). I dont mind about the fluff in it since its an erotica (duh), but the idea of paying for the fanfiction is really disgusting especially when you can find them freely online or for those who had read the chapters in fanfic.net; insulting the original fanfic readers too.

Ok, I stop myself right there since I did made a blog post about it. But safe to say, I dont see pyramid stacks of 50 shades anywhere in the store except for this corner. What a relief. But really, In Sunway Pyramid, I saw a PMR-aged teenage boy curiously reading the back of the book. People, curiosity and kids reading the back of a famous erotica. Ding2…

Atleast put a plastic or something.

MAGAZINES and NEWSPAPER

still the same arrangement as other Popular bookstores. I don’t linger at this corner since I saw a boy reading barbie magazine an inch from his face and …. … oh well, it pretty in pink. Move on.

MALAY NOVELS

I don’t read Malay books since most of the books I saw in this aisle was romance novels. Same old, meet a guy, love triangle, forced marriage, fall in love and conflict stuff in bahasa pasar (that I’m trying to avoid). There’s also islamic romance novels which is weird and repetitive in a way. There’s a lot of religious books and motivational books and malay cook book dominated on shelf.

But I found all FIXI novels (new trend thing with young people these days) and I actually have four of the books from this Fixi series  and I’m a bit dissapointed that they dont have newer books for me. I would want to read KELABU but I choose Zombijaya instead. But I really want to get Bisik since it have a cat on the cover. (I’m simple and random like that)

but a couple of shelves away was stacks of books on the table and I saw a Ramlee Awang Murshid on the book and when I saw the blurb, I like that he’s doing a psychological thriller. So instead of me getting Zombijaya, I bought this book..

Stock image and bad photoshop for a cover.. but the blurb is nice and the book is still new so I”ll be reading this now. And yes, I have burn mark on my knuckle. My oven is so small so accidental stuff like this happen when I bump while pulling my hand away from the tray. But the house will be getting bigger oven and a new air conditioner in planning… sigh. I love big ovens. Can do lotsa thing in it.

Honestly, I dont think RAM is Malaysia’s Stephen King since obviously, RAM doesnt look like he’s drunk all the time. But I like his writing and research work when I first reading his book, the fantasy islamic romance novel (?!) Bagaikan Puteri (sort of Puteri Gunung Ledang’s alternate world) when I was in matriculation (Popular Kuantan have less English novels options than ones in KL) and I got turn off after the third book (yes, I saw the fourth book) so I try to read his other novels from time to time. Mikhail sounds nice so I’ll be getting it much later.

and this made me laugh…

I think its a poor translation work from the Popular theme…. “Laku Keras Novel”… I think it should meant “Bestselling Novels” but this was a direct translation to that was “Profitable Hard Novels” when it should be “Novel Paling Laris” or “Novel Paling Laku”. I hope the management realize this. I know the bookstore is entirely owned by a Singaporean Chinese but this is really shabby for business. Even I can translate it well… and you do know “Keras” in Malay can mean a lot of thing.

Oh, the Malay shelves was right beside the A-Z ENGLISH NOVELS shelves. I saw some of my favourite authors but there’s hardly a full collection of any authors that I can find in the section. Like really, if you have specific wants, you have better luck with other shops. And another thing that I notice, Popular like to lump all books in every genre together (like scifi next to motivational book, and imagine my smirk when I saw an erotica author next to a biographical book.. lolz) and the nicest thing that I saw was this from cooking section.

The art of chocolatier is actually the same price as most of my hardcover medical textbook (around rm200 or 300) and I’ve seen the content and I’m sooo in love with the book. But I’m pokai. Thanks to Kindle and Baking classes.

The English section mix biography and children books but all I’m seeing was limited choices everywhere.

But I know who wont complain about this section.. hmm.. princess book.. garr

My utter disappointment for English section was these Young Adult shelves. The only YA books in the store. Even Bookxcess have better shelving placement than just these shelves (oh there’s those chic-lit YA thing at the other end which I don’t even care it exist). And although I find some of my favourite authors in this section like Marie Lu, Sherrilyn Kenyon, but there’s hardly anything here that intriguing. I have better luck seeking new books to read in Bookxess than this section.

STATIONARIES

I bought a small notebooks for recipes and notes and I found that all of the stuff in this eco-friendly biodegradable section was really cheap!

This small scout book was only rm2 which is the same price as any mass produced notebook of similar size. Its blank and I love them since I could sketch and do equation without lines on them. There’s also a RM3 version with the back bounded by sewing which is just awesome. I’ll be getting the threadsew thick notebook which I just salivate over (only if I dont spend my pocket money on books) for writing my future books and editing my current book.

The name of the company was A.E.I.O.U studio and I like how they explain why the book they sell was biodegradable and uses palm oil trees!! This is way awesome since palm oil trees are versatile and I love that people can commercialize local made sources for these types of ventures. Loads of eco-friendly notebooks are very pricey, like over rm30 which is the same price as one US paperback and some reach rm100 like the moleskin. Honestly, a lot of these stuff are only expensive in our currency and because of the shipping while the quality was only subpar.

larger notebook for rm6. thicker and bigger but with catchy quote

and the notebook which I fell in love with..

yes, there’s other under rm20 notebook at the other side but I like the plain simplicity of the notebooks which is a gem. I can decorate the front of the notebook whatever I want too. And the thread binding was at its raw book form which made a bookworm like me salivate like mad. I love bindings….

I’m definitely coming back often for these.

Unlike other nearby bookshop, this Paradigm shop have loads of booklights. I found the lightwedge-look alike to be under rm30 which I’ll be considering once I got my Case Crown Kindle cover. If not, the clip on seems to do fine.

and loads of stationaries. Khairul H (from The Malaysian Reader) told me that Popular only have loads of stationaries with little books. Its true, but I had to beg differ since some of its stationeries is way better than overpriced Kinokuniya’s stationaries or MPH’s basic stationeries. I know where to get my supplies now. And I can no longer go to MPH just to get a book light like those lightwedge thingy.

Me and my sister are now a 3 year members for Popular Bookstore. Finally…

haha.. mostly, because I will always go here every month. Because I’m book crazy like that.

CONS

The Malay and English fiction/non-fiction section’s choices selection were really really small while the school books dominated the end of the right side of the bookstore (which I was never approve of the idea of spoonfeeding kids by offering these student guides in abundance. it make them lazy to listen to teachers and tuitions are way overrated)

and the DVD stores selling all these kinds of movies and cds. I don’t know how bookstore can support themselves this way butthis is just wasting space. There should be even distribution of book shelves in a bookstore. Its NAME is a bookstore. Set priority right.

And is it necessary to put beverages in a bookstore? DVD store I could tolerate but drinks in a bookstore? This is a HUGE mall with loads of convenience store and food stuff. No one go to a bookstore to buy drinks. There’s also DVD store right nearby the lot so whats the point? Management people, if you want to stay as a bookstore, make it a real bookstore instead of mimicking 7-11.


Beside the overwhelming about of DVD stuff, they have these anime stuff which is okay. But really you can find them at Anime Tech. Fluff space occupying stuff.

But some of them are really cheap though. If you’re lazy to go to KL and get some from Sun Comics and stuff.

——-

If I’m seeking other rare books that I need, Kinokuniya tops special ordering. But I would frequent Popular Bookstore  since its right nearby my house (Bookxcess is a couple LRT ride away but, walking distance is a perk)

When I see the map, Popular store actually occupied a huge area of the wing and I was actually surprised that its quite a small shop, so I’m hoping there will be future construction that allow expansion of the space like all major bookstores did after a couple of months and years. Or better yet, let the store have good organizational method for its bookstores since I need more space. less books in a bookstore make me claustrophobic.

If you’re from Popular bookstore, honestly, just ditch the beverages idea. I advocate for more books in the bookstores (since half of the bookstore were already books and school books while other half are accessories and stationaries), I tolerate the idea but instead add something like Malaysian Indian books or Asian or Australian/European, African literature or HUGE sections of university books. Really, university books are so limited and hard to find, why not more of those?

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