|The last books I bought before leaving for Penang|
Before leaving PWTC for Penang yesterday, I have a chance to have a farewell round-up by going around quickly the KL International Book Fair (KLIBF). With former editor of UKM Publisher Roosfa Hashim who I coincidently met there, I managed to a have a brief visit to the booths of Universiti Malaya Publisher, Gerakbudaya and Dar al Wahi. I bought a few more books for my collection on alternative views (read opposition?), adding to more than RM1,000 that I have spent on the books here.
Contemplating the four-day experience at the KLIBF which happened to be my first, the following observations are worth noted:
1. It was more than a literature search in a library because you are not only searching for books, but also have a chance to meet and discuss with publishers and distributors of the books, or even with the writers, directly, hence enhancing your networking with a part of community that importantly relates very much to your academic world.
2. The KLIBF also becomes a heaven for book searchers, especially those appointed by their respective universities and colleges to find books for their libraries. I have met with some of them who was guided by their book dealers to do so.
3. The books that relatively seem to be liked much by visitors are those of the four categories that I mentioned earlier, viz. novels, motivational books, cartoons, and popular Islamic-based books. In addition, many visitors also were seen to have been crowded at entertainment magazines.
4. Almost 95% of the visitors are still mainly Malays. This I could not understand because books sold and exhibitors there were not only Malays, but also non-Malays. But why non-Malays are relatively not really attracted to this KLIBF?
5. I was fortunate to have been able to stay at Sri Pacific Hotel just beside the PWTC. Location wise, it is the nearest hotel and most practical, though the room and food are not as good as the cheaper-little-bit-distant Quality Hotel that I stayed earlier during our books editing work. At the Sri Pacific, I could have my own sweet time to enjoy the KLIBF by going down there whenever I like and came up to go through the books that I have bought comfortably in the hotel's room. Alhamdulillah, and thanks USM.