Not such a tree hugger after all

An avid bookworm, I've been renting books all my life. Well, since somewhere between primary and secondary school, to be honest.

I have nothing against libraries. I love them because they introduced me to adventure, romance, fantasy and fairy tales in the likes of  Three Musketeers, Ramona and Beeszus, Mary Poppins and Jungle Book. Oddly enough, I attempted Romeo and Juliet at Primary Five and while I didn't get any of the play's nuances then, it was an illuminating first look into what this bloody Shakespeare man offered. Hey, I was in Primary Five, I had no idea who he was!

Visits to the library were peppered with other visits to the bookstores. I was ok with toys, but much preferred the company of books because they offered that much more escapist entertainment. What else would keep me occupied and happy while being dragged on endless shopping trips? It's hilarious how things turned out because, I still hate going on long shopping jaunts.

Anyhoo, when I was around 14, my cousins took me to a new place. This was the much loved Sunny Bookstore of yore. When it used to be tucked in a corner on the second floor of Far East Plaza. To a kid who really liked to read, this was a little piece of heaven! Why? Because unlike libraries, these guys stock the latest books! I could also get series' which were not available in the libraries or even books which contained themes unsuitable to libraries, such as American Psycho or Anne Rice novels. The kicker? It operates much like a library and I'd only need a small part of my allowance to start renting books. And I get to keep the books that I really liked. Woot!

The bookstore and its people grew with the customers. While other stores had retail staff, Sunny's staff remembered their customers' names and more importantly, the type of books they liked so that they can recommend new authors to try or tell you when a new book comes in. Since these guys have changed ownership over the last year, things have gone down the drain. They are back to being a regular bookstore with bored retail staff. As a customer, it's a great feeling to come into a store to chat with the staff about the newest arrivals, which authors have launched new series' or even ask to review books that you've heard of but never had the chance to read. There are small, rental booskstore which still operate similarly to the old Sunny Bookshop, but it ain't the same. It's people (who've become friends) will never be replaced.

I don't buy books because I don't have the luxury of space in my tiny, cramped apartment, which is why renting is a great option. I'll usually take out about 10-12 books and these will last me about two months. And while I know that you can download books on electronic devices, I'm not fond of being overly reliant on devices to the point that they seem to be glued to me.

At the end of the day, I'm somewhat of a traditionalist when it come to books. I still love the smell of new books, the grainy texture of the paper on limited editions and of turning that page to find out what happens next. I want to curl up in bed, sit on the train or cafe and just dive into a good book. I can read it on planes too! Don't have to turn anything off to read a book, y'know. Plus, I want to be able to just set the book aside or shove it into my bag without worrying if I have enough battery to last through the day or, is there an electrical point where I can change my device? I already have enough of that nonsense in trying to manage my laptop and mobile phone.

I know that it sounds silly and non tree-huggy, but it will suffice for now.

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Anonymous said...

The old staff from Sunny are now at Precious Words at Change Alley.

Bitchy Witchy said...

Thanks! And yes, I have since found them :o)

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P


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