The Kl International Bookfair just ended yesterday. I went twice with my family the first being the first Saturday after the opening and the second on the last Saturday before the closing. In between that I went there as part of my work during office hours
I must say being there on those three days was really a good surprise for me. I was glad to see the positive development in the book industry in Malaysia contributing to the new knowledge seeking and reading culture in Malaysia. Not only there were a lot of people coming to the fair also there were a few new local book publishers there. On three different occasions I was there the place was throng with people so much so it was difficult to move around. Granted some of the students there were just passing their times or using the occasion as a very good reason to meet their girl friends or boy friends. Still the whole atmosphere rubbed off against them. Not only that there were a lot of new publishers like PTS publishing materials for their age group. In fact their good strategy have been investing in developing new young writers like Ann Maisarah and Farihah ISkandar that my daughters are crazy about. Well their mum as well. They have managed to capture the younger market segment and they have done it successfully. I was there in the room during the launching of their books and I was amazed by the response they were getting. During my younger days I did not have these local young writers writing for my age group and most of us growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s read foreign authors like Enid Blython’s Famous Fives or The Hardy Boys series. I still have the collection on my shelves and none of my children even so much had a peek at them. They do not even care to know who Famous Fives are. Mainly because they have their own local writers and their books to be crazy about. Now my daughter’s collection occupies a huge bookshelf. I am not complaining but really happy with this development. In fact she got my wife hooked once again and both them came back with stacks of books last Saturday. Not to be out done my wife even managed to get most of her books signed by her favorite authors. My sons on the other hand have other things to occupy their time and read sporadically.
I am glad the book industry in Malaysia has changed for the better and there is hope for me and my daughter yet.