Wednesday, June 27, 2007

KL International Book Fair 2007

Okay, this entry is waaay too late.
Anyway, this is my personal account/view/etc on KL International Book Fair
I spent quite a lot of time and visited most of the booths in all of the
exhibition halls.
10 hours, to be exact. whew!!

The whole event was held from 27th April through 6th May 2007.
Went there on Wednesday 6th May.
There were 4 exhibition halls, plus booths in the concourse area.
I went in at 10am and out at 8pm. Phew! body ached - legs tired and
shoulders bruised from my heavy backpack.

Took rapidkl B114 bus from The Forum at Jalan Tun Razak to Titiwangsa bus
station. PWTC is just a short walk from there.
I remember walking from Sentul (Jalan Ipoh) to PWTC to go to the book fair
when I was 13. Just so I could save a few cents to buy books.

So, went into PWTC, and started with the concourse area. I spent quite some
time in Truewealth booth. There were Azizi Ali's books, reports, and some
other stuff.
Went further in and there were (among others) booths for Arkib Negara,
Balai Seni Lukis Negara, and Perpustakaan Negara.
I registered as a member of the national library (Perpustakaan Negara) -
it's free, and convenient. They don't issue out any membership card.
Your amazing MyKad does the job (if you're registered, of course).
While I was filling my membeship form, I met a P Ramlee fan who was looking
for song manuscripts.
He found what he had been looking for quite a long time now - complete
manuscripts of P Ramlee's songs from Arkib Negara booth.
So happy he was, he sang for us a verse from one of the songs. Good voice,
Oh, and later on i went back to Truewealth and bought Azizi Ali's
'Millionaires Are From A Different Planet!'.

I found Dr. Fadilah Kamsah's book (RRP RM19.90) sold at RM15 after
discount. elsewhere being sold at RM18.50.
Good bargain if you're willing to tire your legs walking around in and
between all the halls.
And that being said, i wonder if people could really strike it rich being a
writer in M'sia. RRP 19.90!! Anyway, good for us, local books are cheap.

there was a copy of Playboy magazine being displayed. no kidding!
well, displayed as 'banned publications' section in one of the govt
agency's booth. can't recall which one - Jabatan Keselamatan Dalam Negeri
or Kementerian Dalam Negeri.
also on their display is the 1962 edition of Napoleon Hill's 'Think and
Grow Rich'. There's a writing in the book about Prophet Muhammad SAW which
is not entirely okay with the govt (and Islamic scholars).
Later on i found that very book being sold (cheap) in another hall
upstairs. duhh!!
there were also printed Al-Qur'an which do not have the permits to be
distributed. It could be because of any of these:
errors in printing, usage of unislamic materials for the binding of the
Qur'an, etc.
The lady behind the counter also told me that only ONE digital Qur'an has
been approved so far (as at 6th May).

I found another book by local publisher (Ameen) and writers. They're cute,
and quite good contents. I bought one by Salmiah Ahmad - '101 Malaysian
Well, she was there and she signed my book. That's the other reason why i
bought that book. See, if you're there, it would add value to your
There was another book by them - about the world according to a cat's view.
Cute, and enlightening. Didn't buy it - not in my budget (and the writer's
not there to give me an autograph...).

There was a booth showcasing M'sian made comic. they held a panto that
evening down at the lobby stage. I would say that the quality of the story,
illustration, artwork, and right down to the material (paper) is on par (if
not better) with those in the international market. and that's just where
they're aiming at - going international. They have live comic illustration
sessions. things like these gave me inspiration and ideas when i was
growing up.

When i was in my secondary school (13-15y.o.), i frequented the book fairs
around kl.
a must visit is to the Creative Enterprise Sdn. Bhd . (CESB) booth. They're
the ones who publishes Gila-Gila and a host of malay novels and satires.
What's special about their booth is that the cartoonist would be there and
ever so happy to give out autographs for you. Their autos are special, as
they include their famous cartoon characters from GG, and your name too.
heck, if they're in a very good mood, they could do a live sketch of your
caricature - all for free. I had lots of Ujang's, Rejabhad (Allahyarham),
Long, and a few others. I wonder now where i keep my autos...
It has been years since i last visited their booth (and the book fair in
kl). They've grown big (altho GG is not that hot anymore nowadays). too
bad, i missed Jaafar Taib doing his live painting. The easel was there,
with a painting done halfway. If you've seen his paintings (oil),
particularly the bird series, they are absolutely awesome with the amazing
details painstakingly rendered.

Karangkraf conquered a whole big hall for themselves. here i see a lot of
people buying (guess what) Malay novels. Datuk Syarifah Mazlina was there
to give out autographs and taking pictures with you. She had her book
launched during the book fair. Karangkraf publishes a lot of magazines.
some 50 of them. imagine that. name a malay mag (and there are a host of
english mags too) that you have heard of, and it might probably be
published by them.

there's a lot more to write about the fair, but i'm going to stop now.
i went home satisfied, and lifted.

i love books!

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