In My Opinion: Bookstores

I wish I could live in a bookstore. For me, going to bookstore is like children get lost in the candyshop or toyshop. It really makes me happy and exciting. Books always amuse me. I could stay hour and hour just to browse the title and smell the book and feel the atmosphere. The coffee shop nearby is a plus point. My love for the book had been rise since I was a child. My father was the 1st person that taught me to read, he let me read even I hadn’t go to school yet, he always took me to bookstores. He introduced me how to involve and to love with books. Still in my mind, Pippi the Longstocking by Astrid Lundgren, Little Prairie by Laura Ingalls, not to forget Alfred Hitchcock, Enyd Bliton, and moreover I like Agatha Christie, Sydney Sheldon, and as I become older, i spread my reading-list with John Grisham, Mitch Albom, Paolo Coelho or James Patterson to non fiction books, like Malcom Goldwell’s bestsellers. Not really big fan of comics, found it was too quick to read. I really enjoy the pages after pages thus I like words rather than comics. That’s why I prefer to go to bookstore rather than music store. I still had my old book collection. But now I tried to collect my childhood again. Mostly, they had reprinted and retranslate.

I introduce my reading habit to my sons. They like to read superheroes things, that contrary with me, but I tried to read and listen to them. I read books before they sleep. Their faves is Franklin the Turtle. The books have beautiful pictures. I think, for my eldest, it’s too childish, but he likes it, and that’s the one way to keep me bonding with them.

Well, too bad, we don’t have appropriate library here. Books are quite expensive, and we just cannot afford them all, so we need good libraries to make people like to read. I envy the private library that had such a wonderful collection. But they didn’t open for public.

In my city, we have quite good bookstores. Kinokuniya is the best and have the most complete collection. However, they rarely give special prices. Periplus and Times Bookstores have comfort yet homey atmosphere. For local books, Gramedia is the leader in town. Now they have imported section books too.

When I saw ‘You’ve Got Mail’ movie, starred by Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, I thought, this is what the bookstore must look like, warm, cozy, homey feeling so that every customers would like to stay and browse the bookshelves without being hurried. That is the problem that I face when I visited Kinokuniya. The ‘so many-books-available-here’ made me underpressure and intimidating. Too many books meaning too many choices while too little time to choose.

The bookstore that I found almost close to the bookstore in the movie is Aksara. They have couple branches in Jakarta area, at Kemang, Pacific Place, Plaza Indonesia and Cilandak Town Square. The collections are not complete as the well-known Japanese bookstores, but Aksara’s books are more specific. Despite the owner’s background as an architect, she chooses rarely but ‘to-the-point’ items. If you looking for uncommon books, you can find them here. Aksara also supplies cute and unique stationaries. And in the cookbook area, there were shelves with lovely kitchen utensils that we can pick to accompany our cookbooks.

My latest found in Aksara was the graphic novel (or can we say comic?) by Marjane Satrapi, The Chicken Plum. I like this Iranian women Author. Even though it’s black and white drawing, but it had deep story. And I also picked the Haruki Murakami short stories book, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman.

One of the newest bookstores in Jakarta is The Reading Room, Kemang. I have not had a chance to visit it yet; even I always passed on my way to my parent’s place. The owner, was the founder of the QB Booksore (permanently closed) is the books collector and movie enthusiasm, has generous collection, not just the books but also the movies. While we’re tired of reading, we can have cup of coffee or watch the movie in their mini cinema.

So, what’s your preference Bookstore in town?


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