Sunday Book Hunting at Amcorp Mall

First and foremost, Happy Birthday to me 🙂 Two days late btw. And its fine, you don’t need to wish my reaching quarter of a century. O life’s brief candle.

The weather was dreadful these few days (and apparently my neighbour’s roof got struck by a lightning last night and luckily my modem escaped unscathed) and I was feeling dreadful as well from an allergy attack and it made me miserable enough that I couldn’t go to the Bakery supply shop in Taman Megah on Saturday… sniff.

So to make my Sunday better, I end up going to Amcorp Mall to get the books I’ve been eyeing earlier this month. But instead of the two books, I end up bringing home seven books.

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Yes, December is a month full of book hauls for me… and empty pockets….. uhuks

Its a well-known fact that if you live in PJ for years and never been to Amcorp Mall, you can’t call yourself PJians. Yes, there’s a lot of malls here like the Mid Valley, Sunway Pyramid, Summit USJ, Paradigm Mall, The Curve, Ikano Power Center, One Utama… yes, we have a lot of malls here and thankfully, a lot of bookstores too but none of them had the right charm as the Amcorp Mall.

Located right in the heart of Petaling Jaya and conveniently within the walking distance from the LRT Kelana Jaya line, Amcorp Mall is one of the still thriving community-based mall in the city and also one of the most famous weekend flea market in Malaysia and the famous BookXcess bookstore.

And I have an awful tablet camera and I know you know about that already.

If you’re a hoarder of any sort, the flea market would drive your OCD need to the wall. There’s a lot of cheap toys for kids and adults alike. My kryptonite was books, obviously.

As teenager, I used to skip my night tuition and hop on LRT to Amcorp Mall for secondhand books from the Payless store but when they went out of business, BookXcess took over the space and when Big Bad Wolf went big, they relocated to a larger space and they fill it with more books and they’ve remodeled again and they got even bigger than it was.

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The joys of living in PJ.

But I’m back to being broke from this shopping escapades when I should be buying cheese cake stuff. Oh well.

I know that its Comic Fiesta weekend but for some odd reason, the crowd were massive again. I haven’t been to CF events since the last time they did CF in Sunway Pyramid CC and it was an annual thing for me in this past ten years. Then again, I hate needless queuing and huge crowds. I had a bad crowd experience when they did it at Berjaya Times Square hotel. My sister still volunteering as usual but considering I no longer interested in the current anime world, I decided to skip this year, again.

So, about the hauls. Surprisingly, I got 7 books at under RM41 (or USD12) which by itself is the average price of one book in regular bookstore. Most of them were second hand books which is fine. That reminded me, I need to do a bookshelf clearance sale.

1. A. Samad Said’s Salina

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I know this novel was a staple in many household’s bookshelf in Malaysia whether you read it or not and have been everyone’s favourite novel of all time. This also the book I haven’t read in my whole life as a reader.

What I found here was an English translated version of Salina in a very good condition (in fact, I don’t think it was ever read by anyone). I have an older edition the book inherited from my parents but I’ve been looking for this version for a very long time. It was my SMK Panji Alam’s Bahasa Melayu teacher who recommended the book and told me about the English translation version. Unfortunately, I don’t think the translated version was ever reprinted nor distributed in ebooks. So really, this is one rare book. Much like Anthony Burgess’s books on Malaya.

I’ve known about the existence of the book for a long time but I never had the heart to read it. I know its the greatest modern Malay literature of our time but because its a societal commentary about the lives of the Singaporean Malays in the dark days of Singapore in the 50s, technically its the story of my dad’s family. To be exact, it was the same Singapore my late-grandparents and my dad lived in. (Although the character’s story was very much different from my grandparent’s story but it was equally dramatic) So really, the book does hold some sensitive part of my family history about the world they lived in so I do need to proceed this with extreme caution.

2. Lois Lowry’s The Giver

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I genuinely wish I had this book when I was still at school instead of The Pearl.

3. Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing

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I think the fates are kind with me. Three Cormac McCarthy books under Rm10. *squeeeee*

4. Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden

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I haven’t been kind to McEwan’s Atonement. But I’m willing to give his book another chance. And I had to buy this because I want the McCarthy’s book and its the “Buy 3 for RM10” pile.

5. Stephen Fry’s Moab is My Washpot

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Normally, I don’t do autobiographies especially with people who haven’t died yet. But it was the only decent book in the box so I had to get it. Plus, I love his prose.

6. Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers

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This book have seen better days and some part of the pages have mold stains in it. Its only for RM1!

7. J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace

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I got a mild heart attack when I saw Disgrace in RM5 pile. Yes, I’ve read and reviewed and studied this book but what I had with me was ebooks! It didn’t feel the same! And this book need a home!

And instead of making strawberry cheese cake, I end up making playdoh for the kids. They’ve been torturing themselves with playdoh youtube review for days (weirdly, it reach several million views) and who am I to say no about it

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and they’re so tired from kneading and playing that they collapsed from exhaustion before it was 10pm. Achievement accomplished.

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