Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The books I bought at the KL International Book Fair yesterday
Yesterday, after completing the task at UKM, I proceeded to PWTC for a literature search at the on-going KL International Book Fair (KLIBF). The fair is held there on three floors of the building, but I only managed to go around just on the ground floor. Really a lot of books to research on. I will continue to the second and third floor today, InshaAllah.

Using a participant observation method during my visit to the Fair yesterday, I came up with the following premilinary conclusion on the ground floor:

1. Most of the visitors are Malays, despite there are also Chinese-based booths.

2. Most of the booths, hence the books on the ground floor are Islamic-based.

3. Most of the Islamic-based books are popular-oriented rather than serious-oriented. Such an orientation, as I was told by General Publishing Manager of PTS Publications & Distributors Fauzul Na'im Ishak and PTS Editor Ikram Wazir who I met at their booth, are more welcome and readable by readers. Apart from the PTS itself, it was proven by the flourishing business of Galeri Ilmu Sdn Bhd and Telaga Biru Sdn Bhd, both owned by my old friends Cikgu Abu Hassan Morad and Tuan Haji Waharp Yusoff respectively. I was so grateful to see how big and attractive their booths are, as compared to other booths beside them. But as asked by a participant at a forum held at the main stage of the Fair which I have a chance to hear yesterday, what would happen to the future generation if Malaysians are more keen to read popular books rather than serious books? The answer expressed by the panels were interesting. The most important thing, one of them was saying, let them read and nurture their reading habit first, irrespective of the materials read, either popular or otherwise. Another panel supported by saying that no statistics and serious study has been done as yet to prove the pattern of the reading. The popularity of the popular printed books does not really reflect the pattern, he said, as readers are accessible to numerous ways of reading at the moment, such as a more serious e-books and other gadgets in the cyber world.

4. Another form of books that attract many readers are novels. My son `Akif who is together with me at the Fair bought two novels entitled Takdir and Hero by Hilal Asyraf (a student of Yarmouk University in Jordan), one of Akif's favourite novelists. He then brought me to the booth of Ain Maisarah, a popular novelist among youngsters, to buy Ain Maisarah's latest novel entitled Cinderallah vs Rapunzellah for his youngest sister Ummu, one of Ain Maisarah's fans. Initially Ain Maisarah published her novels with other publishers, including PTS. But now, she establishes her own company called Blink Book Sdn Bhd to publish her own novels, with PTSs as her distributors

5. I confirm that I am not as strong as before. Last night I have aches all over my body, for standing and walking for quite long at the Fair, which I seldom do before this due to time constraints. However, I am going to the Fair again shortly, for I love and enjoy books so much. Moreover my literature search has to be completed before going back to Penang on Thursday. At least my visit to the Fair yesterday has stimulated me to rethink the approach of my future writings - serious materials but expressed in popular mode. That I believe, could be able to disseminate as much knowledge and reaching as many readers as possible, InshaAllah. But how about the KPI needed by all of our universities? The writings have to be academic and refereed while most of the popular books are not really, except if the author requests so. It is alright for a lecturer like me, who is retiring soon [and probably become a novelist?), but how about the young lecturers who have to fill up their CVs with the strong KPI for promotion? Pandai-pandailah, and if one needs an advice, do not hesitate to come to ISDEV.
With Abu Hanafiah, my old friend working as DTP Artist at the Galeri Ilmu
Telaga Biru booth on the ground floor
Ain Maisarah telling me about her way and schedules in novel writings

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