I was searching for a second hand bookshop in Kuala Lumpur when I came across Junk Book Store in Google. The first time I went there was on the Malaysia Day several days earlier - I was hoping it opens on public holiday but it was not, and the second attempt was after several hours spending my time at the Art Expo event yesterday.
The old shop reminded me of so many stories in novels I read about old bookshop. It reminded me of Mo in Inkheart trilogy, spending his time in such bookshop to find old books to mend. It reminded me of Daniel Sampere in the Shadow of the Wind when he found the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. It reminded me of Paris and England, where old bookstores scattered all over the city.
There's nothing more exciting then finding an old bookshop in the busy city of Kuala Lumpur.
I opened the wooden door and greeted the old lady in the shop, being excited gives me a cheerful mood and make me somewhat chatty to strangers, plus I always imagine people who work in bookshop are all friendly and nice. Phew.
She asked me about the book I was searching for. I got nothing in my list at that time, because I love finding something to buy instead of searching for a specific book. The search itself is exciting enough. I tried 'Haruki Murakami', 'John Green', 'Paulo Coelho' and 'Susan Sontag'. All were 'not available', 'sold out', 'I already read' or 'never heard of the author'. I was a bit disappointed but continued with the searching.
There were thousands of old books, with musty smell and yellowish paper. I found children books I read when I was in my teenage years, I found old books published when I was not even existed, I even found several Moravia's books ! When I was about 16 or 17, I read one of his book called The Woman of Rome, I didn't know it was a book meant for grown-ups, which I preferred to call - soft porn aka romance genre. The book was in my dad's library and it was a long school holiday so I gave the book a shot. Later the book changed me a tiny bit because :
1) I never read any romance book at that age so I was a bit shocked learning about the-grownups world
2) the book was beautifully written, I loved it !
I never found any of Moravia's books in any book stores ever, so finding several of it in Junk Book Store was a bit exciting !
Excerpt from the Woman of Rome :
If the hurt changes me at all, I do not show it in my conduct and outward appearance but far more deeply in my soul which closes in more down and upon itself like healthy flesh attempting as soon as possible to heal a wound but scars remain and there. These unconscious wounds in the soul are always permanent.
I gave up the unequal struggle against what appeared to be in my fate, indeed, I welcomed it with more affection. As one embraces a foe one can't defeat and I felt liberated.
- it's not even available if you Google it , I just added the quotes in Goodreads !
So do you know the rarity level of such books?
I was in the book shop for awhile. By 5 pm , the old lady said the shop was closing soon, I didn't found what I wanted and went out with empty hands.
Maybe someday soon, I'll come again and find something.
PS : I am famished.