Have I ever told you that one of my greatest fears is being caught out with no new books to read? Well, there you have it. I need to have a constant supply of books. Our (my) bookshelf is not only filled with books that I’ve read and love, but also new books to get into when I’m done with whatever I am reading.
It’s a well-known fact that books in Malaysia are not um…. affordable. I can walk out of a bookstore with just five books in hand and would’ve spent between RM350 to RM400! Who knew reading can be such an expensive hobby here in Malaysia?! I pick paperbacks and never, ever, buy new releases. But honestly! The sacrifices I have to make!
When the very first BookXcess made an appearance at Amcorp Mall, decades ago, I leapt for joy. Finally, a book store which retails books at pocket-friendly prices.
When I heard about the latest outlet in MyTOWN Shopping Centre, and that it was humongous (cos size matters), I had to check it out.
A bookstore or a 5-star hotel?
Stepping into the store, it felt like I had stepped into a 5-star hotel. It’s so different from the other BookXcess outlets I’ve been to. Lit up by warm lighting and set-up with warm wood tones on stoned pathways, it felt really cosy. It was like walking into a giant bear hug – by books.
As with any BookXcess outlets, the children books section is vast and is located at the front of the store. As you venture further in, you’ll find the fiction and non-fiction sections. A word of caution: it is a maze here. With columns filled with books, I lost sight of the kid a couple of times.
Speaking of which, I did loose sight of him once in BookXcess Amcorp when he was a toddler and my heart started pounding, but yet it didn’t occur to me to ditch my shopping basket down so that I could move faster. Priorities?!
My only gripe about the columns, is that I was not able to simply pick up a book from the higher shelves to browse. The columns definitely give a wow factor, but does not work well for ‘vertically challenged’ people like me. There are steppers located around the store, but you would have to lug it from column to column to check out books you can’t reach.
The Piazza and the Gallery
As with all BookXcess outlets, they have a section where you can work, read, study or simply hang out, called the Piazza. What’s ingenious is that underneath the Piazza is the Gallery, where they feature artworks by local artists which you can purchase.
There’s even live entertainment at this outlet: they’ve placed a piano in the store. Yes, it’s locked up and you have to wait for a willing volunteer, but ask for the key and you’re allowed to tinkle the ivories. They encourage it. If you’ve ever wanted to perform in public but have never had the chance, here it is!
For that cup of Joe, there’s Whisk Coffee Bar & Cakes (their flat white is a great pick-me-up and a must for me). And if you’re hungry for a hot meal, there’s also Japanese restaurant Ume Tei, a first for any BookXcess outlet.
The folks at BookXcess have obviously thought this outlet through: with the Piazza, Gallery, java fix, hot meal, and books stocked from floor to ceiling, they want you to spend if not the entire day, at least a good couple of hours here. And all I say to that is: can we sleepover as well?
Note of caution: there are rocks peppered throughout the store, so do keep a watchful eye on younger children.