Drop by Drop

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#sol18- October 23, 2018

Moving to a new school this year has been challenging (in a good way) and fun. One problem that I knew would be a problem beforehand is the lack of viable bookstores. True confession- I am a book buying addict- I struggle to stop myself from buying all the books I want. In Kl my weekly routine was to visit the bookstore each Saturday and add to my class library this way. As I have already made clear, not buying all the books is a hard thing, so my excursions were supplemented by online ordering which was great because those books were then delivered right to school- nothing as exciting as carrying a big box of books up the two flights of stairs to build the suspense.

Before I moved here I noted that Book Depository does not yet deliver here, but Amazon does (for 50-100% additional cost with uncertain delivery dates). There are some stores here that sell books, but I am a newly published book lover and that is hard to find.

Enter Kinokuniya- a Japanese chain that I frequented in KL. They have opened in Aeon Mall 2 very recently. True the mall is more than 30 minutes away (but only a $4 tuk tuk ride is how I prefer to think of it). I set out 7 weeks ago for my first visit. I bought a few books and ordered a few more and then waited (rather impatiently for them to let me know the books were in- no direct delivery offered). After a while, I kind of gave up, no word from them.

Last Wednesday my phone vibrated in my pocket and I ignored it- nobody I know would call during a school day. A bit later it was recess time and it went off again.

“Hello,” I said- preparing to say, “I only speak English,” my standard phone answering refrain.

“Hello, this is Kinokuniya. Five of the books you ordered are in. We need you to come this week,” the man stated.

“Okay, I can come Saturday,” I promised, although I was really ready to walk out the door midday and go get them.

“This week?” he asked.

“In three days, is that okay?”

“Yes, okay,” he confirmed.

It was one of those conversations that I often have here. Was he really understanding me? Would my books indeed be there?

Saturday after my haircut I made the long ride out there. After running a few other errands at the mall I headed upstairs. After some initial communication snafus, I made my message clear and got my stack, but of course, I still wanted to look around and pick up any other worthy books. I messaged the librarian and asked if she wanted a copy of the new Dog Man I saw on the shelves and of course, she said yes.

I walked away with 10 books in total for $148. One of the books went to the school library and the rest came to our class library. There may have been shrieks of joy when I shared them Monday morning- which made the long ride and the lighter wallet worth it. But seriously, I miss my weekly book shopping trips- there are so many books I want to add to our class library!

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A former student keeps slicing!

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3 thoughts on “Drop by Drop

  1. beetsyg

    I share your pain at not being able to go book shopping all the time (check out my post from last week about Buenos Aires–after 3 months of book drought in Chile, I thought I was in heaven!). It’s great that there’s a Kinokuniya near-ish to you. I discovered them in Bangkok a couple years ago when I realized that there weren’t many English-language books available in Ubon Ratchathani (which has quite a few bookstores, but only selling books in Thai). I also visited a great little bookstore in Siem Reap that had lots of English-language books, many about recent Cambodian history.

    Reply
  2. Stacey Shubitz

    It’s amazing what you have to do and how much you have to spend to get books for your students, Erika! How wonderful that you’re willing to go through the conversations, drive miles, and spend a lot of cash to get fresh books in their hands.

    Reply

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