I have a love-hate relationship with shopping. Every shopping things. Sure I like to spend times wandering around to see things I like; clothes, cosmetics, books,
cute boys but actually I don’t really like it. It’s not about the money (it surely is, though) but I just have no patience to searching around. When I need to buy things at supermarket, I usually go directly to the particular shelves, have a pay, and get out. And yes, even for books. Many people love spending times in a bookshop while I don’t. When I plan to buy certain book, I will go directly search it, maybe look around for another one or two minutes but that’s it. I am a failed book lover.
But different story is when I am in a bad mood, I usually decide to start gallivanting to see books (and end up buying one or two, or three, maybe four). One of the easiest place for me to reach is Blok M Square. Blok M square is a kind of mall in South Jakarta. The books section is in the basement floor. Actually in basement floor, not only books you can find, there are also tailors, gemstones shops, canteen, old CD stores, clothing store, traditional medicine shops, and others. Because this is a book blog, do let me just talk about the books :D
There are sooo many bookshops there. And the books genres also vary. You can find school books, religious books, novels, comics, dictionaries, even encyclopedias. School and religious books most likely new but 95% of novels are comics are secondhand which have very good price (especially if you’re lucky enough and is a bargain pro). 0.5% are new, and another 4.5% is pirated books. Yes sadly I have to say that there are still sooo many Indonesia published books are illegal copies.
Japanese comics/mangas is the top star here. You name it, you get it! This is of course not for the new publishing. People will go to the offline/online book stores for it. But if you look for old series, complete series, either you can find them there or ask the sellers to help (and you can ask them to complete the series if they don’t have them yet). Some sellers don’t seem capable in selling their books but some are very nice whom amazingly remember which titles are on their stock. I ever asked a man if he had a definite comic I was searching and he could find it easily. Some also are so nice and understand what they sell so you can talk with them happily. I ever had a great chat with a comic seller, in other times I enjoyed eating tempe chips they offered when looking at the books. Remember that the key of buying books here is your mastery of bargain. There are sellers who are very stubborn and annoying (not because they are but because I don’t want to spend more), some are very friendly and funny I did bargain the books unfairly just because I was so bored I wanted to tease them.
I don’t always buy books there but to see interesting books is very entertaining and educating. I can see a lot of books I never heard of or even thought about.
Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent – Stephen King