Paperback Friends


Books are good companions when one is alone. They are easy to carry and store. I cannot remember the last time I read a good book. It must have been like one decade ago. I cannot even remember the title of that book anymore.

Whenever Wuan and I go shopping, we would invariably be drawn into bookshops, mostly to browse. Coffee table books have the nicest photographs. These are a delightfully pleasing not only to the eyes but to the mind as well. We also like books on flowers, gardening and recipes.

We were shopping at the Bukit Jambul Shopping Complex when the Popular Book Store beckoned. Wuan had wanted to get the Nonya Flavours cookbook which features a mouth-watering array of the most delicious Peranakan food. These recipes are the amalgamation of inter-marriages between early-Chinese settlers and Malay women in the Malay Peninsula, namely the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore. It was going for a 20% discount. So she grabbed it. Wena blogged about that book here.

Then Wuan came across some books by Ernest Hemingway. I have never read any of his works and it was selling at 70% off the list price. The bargain suckers that we were, we took two ? The First Forty-Nine Stories and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The three books have been lying on my sofa for more than one week now. If only I can peel myself off the computer and begin reading.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

11 thoughts on “Paperback Friends”

  1. All reading takes is a little discipline. Simply set aside some fixed hour of the day and stick to it. After a while, you will find it both addictive and rewarding – not to mention refreshing and literally “outa this world!!”

  2. i enjoy reading too but like peter, these days seems to be stuck to computer all the time, so doing less reading.

    do you know i have 2 books given to me as xmas presents 2 years ago, and 1 story book i bought few months ago… all sitting in the cupboard… i have not touch them yet!

    the funny thing about me is though i haven’t finish reading a book… no i mean haven’t started on it… when there’s a good bargain on books, i’ll buy it/them. ayoh! my books gonnna accumulate and for show only without reading them. perhaps pauline is right. i should try to discipline myself to set aside a time for reading.

  3. I agree, books are great companions. I’ve recently become addicted to reading again! Went crazy in December-Janaury period buying over 10 books … and finished all but 1 (The King of Torts – John Grisham). Maybe I’ll start that tonight 🙂

  4. Pauline,
    I like to read in bed but my room lights are not that bright and my eyes are failing and I do not like to wear glasses. I complain too much huh! I started with The First Forty-Nine Stories and I guess I just got bitten by the reading bug again. Too bad I was sleepy and took a nap after reading only the first two pages.

    Lucia,
    Like you, Wuan and I like to buy books when they are dumped into the bargain bin. Believe it or not? We bought one book costing more than RM150 four years ago and it is still sitting in a cabinet somewhere unopened.

    Wena,
    Yes, Popular Book Store gave a 20% discount for its card members buying Nyonya Flavours. We did not have the card but the kind soul before us had and offered to let us use hers.

    Fel,
    Reading is as addictive as playing an exciting PC game. I used to read until four in the morning every night, anything that I could get my hands on.You finished ten books in two months? I am impressed. Now that I have just started and the two books that I have were gotten dirt cheap, I wished I had bought a few more. Wuan is going to reprimand me because when she wanted to get a few more, I told her two is enough.

  5. i lost my times discount card!!!!!!!!!!! Harrummpphh!

    Then again, nowadays I’m so occupied with other things, it is hard to read. once i start, i don’t stop! 😀

  6. Times used to stock a very good selection of English books but that was many years ago. I have not been into one for a long time now.

    I agree with you that once you get started, it is difficult to put down the book which is a bad thing if you need lots of sleep.

  7. Hey, I’m a book-hoarder, too. Nice to know you and Wuan are avid book shoppers. It’s always wonderful to come across a gem of a book which I simply cannot put down until it’s finished. I’m a fast reader which can be a con in this case because once I start on a book during dinner time, I would only sleep at about 2am.

    Being away from home for the past 10 days, I’ve been facing some withdrawal syndrome from the lack of reading. It’s a sudden craving that springs up and won’t let go until I feast my eyes on a gripping tome like John Grisham’s books. Time to go hunt for his latest.

  8. Happy hunting and I hope you get one that is really gripping. A picture may paint a thousand words but a thousand words can paint more than a thousand pictures. Everytime I reread a book, it draws a different picture in my mind.

  9. Ooh yeah! I re-read my favourite books countless of times, too. One of my absolute favourites is The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis. I read somewhere that one must read those at least three times in one’s lifetime. Once as a child, once as a young adult and once as an elderly person. It will teach you many wonderful things with each read.

  10. I missed the child and young adult stage. I guess I have to jump right into the elderly person part and see what it tells me.

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