Book Heaven

Sunday morning, Sarah and I hit the flea market looking for good junk at bargain prices. It was surprising how old records were still a big hit(among veterans) with Deep Purple and the likes still being a common favourite. Last time I saw a gramophone was at my late grandmother’s place and that too had been chucked away over the years. I guess many still hold a fond memory of the entertainment heydays.

Looking around the assortment of things, I would somehow always be drawn to books. In the end, I had unconsciously(tipu) brought myself to a secondhand bookstore. It’s amazing what you would be able to find. Browsing around, I found myself caught in the children’s section and found books I grew up with, transporting me to a time where I had all the leisure time of doing whatever I pleased. Books I would never find on shelves of local major bookstores were just there, tucked beneath heaps of other childrens’ books. The Magic Schoolbus and Strega Nona among others.

I ended up buying a few for my little brothers, sharing the joy I once had in reading these books(sebenarnya sendiri nak baca lagi). As I was about to pay, the Chinese lady at the counter smiled as I was carrying a pile of books before her. Curiously, she casually made conversation.

Lady: Are you buying books for your kids or your sisters?
Me : (Smiling) No, I’m buying for my brothers. Do I look that old to have kids?
Lady: (Laughing) That’s what I was wondering whether you were a young mother buying books for your kids.
Me : No, no just for my younger siblings.
Lady: (Smiles yet with a startled look, like it was odd for people to buy books for their siblings.)
Me : (Paid, said thank you and left.)

I thanked my lucky stars that Sarah was at another shop and wasn’t with me then or else I could imagine how hard she’d be laughing.

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. –Anna Quindlen, “Enough Bookshelves,” New York Times, 7 August 1991


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