Sunday, December 22, 2013

Book Shopping for Kuala Terengganuvians at SMO

It’s merely less than two and a half hours before evening after performing four-rakaah Zuhr prayer. Wearing a yellow collared T-shirt together with a pair of black track suit, I, without further ado, took Daddy’s motorbike key hung somewhere on the living-room wall. My crew cut hair seemed to have been neatly combed. Though I knew it’d turn as utterly messy as nuts in that I was gonna put a purplish helmet on.

I went for a ride cautiously shortly after that heading to the north of Kuala Terengganu (KT). Upon reaching a crossroad somewhere in Bukit Tunggal, near a new branch of Open University campus, whilst waiting patiently for the red traffic light to turn green, my concentration suddenly changed to a new-built overhead bridge before me reading “Selamat Datang (ke) Kuala Nerus”.

My mind went totally nonplussed for a while. “Is that true (that) Kuala Nerus is now the eighth district of this state?” The question remained unanswered somehow. There’s no way I would dare ask the rider being next to me for some clarification, would I? He’d think I was silly instead.

Leaving the question unanswered, I found myself whining, “Why bother, anyway? Could simply google later at home. It’s a piece of cake!” One should benefit today’s ever-developing technology. Soon after that, I reached the next traffic light and before the light turned ‘red’ again, I rapidly turned right into what’s-its-name road. Now, I was only few metres away from the expected destination, Giant supermarket Gong Badak branch.

The last time I shopped there, I recall, was last May. Approximately, four months ago. Previously, I went there in order to survey “What’s so different about that giant supermarket?” And not to mention the moment I very much enjoyed my so-called ‘luxurious’ lunch at Secret Recipe.

After having parking the motorbike properly beside the enormous premise, I began walking into the supermarket. Alone. The fairly cold wind of the functioning air-conditioners was, as though, surely welcoming.

Reminding myself of the main purpose of coming over, both of my chocolate-coloured eyes were starting wildly looking for some bookstore. I wandered around while observing every outlet. Food Terrace, Focus Point and Kopitiam – these are several of them.

 “Oh yes! That’s the very bookstore they’ve been talking about,” I heard myself whispering. Thoughtlessly, I walked to the outlet whereupon. The sign board overhead read SMO which later I learnt it’s actually an abbreviation of Syarikat Muda Sdn Bhd.

I assumed it’s still a new branch here. Alhamdulillah. With the existence of this bookstore, it’s indirectly increased the quantity of bookstores opened around KT. Owing to the obvious lack of top-notch bookstores around the city centre, I felt so much pleased with this sudden ‘transformation’.

Hope that the number of bookstores as great as MPH Bookstore and Kinokuniya will be increasing and publicly opened within this city before long. In line with the government’s expectation to foster reading habit among Malaysians. Kuala Terengganuvians, in particular. 

Speaking of this new bookstore, something had gotten me a little bit astounded in the first place. Obviously, there’s a variety of books neatly arranged on each of the book shelves. Looked like a tiny room flooded with millions or billions of books without any little space left unused.

My first step was cordially greeted by a mounting number of Malay novels. In spite of a wide range of eye-catching graphic designs of, nearly, all of the novel covers, I didn’t even find myself the least bit fascinated to pick one. Not that I dislike it. Just, not for now.

A rectangular small signboard reading ‘English subtitle’ drew my attention. Both of my eyes were now searching for my favourite novelist’s novels, Sophie Kinsella. “Yesss, here there are!” I half screamed with excitement like crazy. A little while after that, the feeling hastily faded away. Only were the read novels still available displayed on the shelf. “Other novels may be put on any other shelves.” I made a guess. I therefore took a look on hundreds of other varieties of books on the other shelves.

“There’s a bunch of books in here. I must say.” Spontaneously, I uttered my personal opinion. After almost each one of the books and novels had been randomly seen, the feeling of gloominess came to me. The novels I was after seemed unavailable. For confirmation, I addressed one of the book cashiers about that.

He’s around 20’s, I supposed. Presumably he’d just graduated from high school. An SPM school-leaver, I thought. “Ah, none of my business!” I told myself off and hurriedly stopped thinking. Just like I said, the best-selling novels I wished I could get them there were truly sold out!

Even so, once again, I made another thorough observation on those books. The feeling of dejection was, as if, completely ‘cured’ when looking at a sort of thick book written by someone I’ve been acquainted with. A friend of mine on the well-known social web, Facebook. The book titled ‘Aduhai Isteri’ was written by a columnist of Kelab 40 Akhbar Sinar Harian named Muhamad Mat Yakim.

I was accustomed to reading his mostly based-on-true-stories writings. He constantly manages to come up with such interesting, hot topics, if you ask me. Since I’ve never regretted reading his previous writings, thoughtlessly, I made a purchase. Really convinced that the book contents were always ‘hot’!

Not only that book, I too spent RM15.90 for a so-called Indonesian bestseller comic. Its title is ‘33 Pesan Nabi: Jaga Hati, Buka Fikiran Vol. 2’. I’m understood that all the narrations of the stories are wholly based on Bukhari Muslim hadiths. It’s a religious comic, to be precise.

There’s something rather dull, boring about the book arrangement here that I sort of dislike. Should they ever drop by reading my blog, it’s hoped that they’re willing to accept my genuine comments, after some scrupulous thought. I did notice lots of books put down on the bottom shelves look somewhat unorganized.

Imagine that a couple of quite thick folklore books, translated into both Malay and English, that I feel a must-read book for every Malaysian, were put down at a bottom shelf? Still, it sounds alright to me but totally hidden and quite invisible of anyone’s observation? Oh, come on! That doesn’t sound alright to me.

After payment, I stepped out of the yellowish premises and afterwards headed to the motorcycle parking lot and went home.

PS: I actually intended to go to the city centre. The expected destination was Pustaka Seri Intan 2. Since, I’m sure, that the sought-after novels were there.