Thursday, August 5, 2010

How they ended up in my collection

If you are familiar with SS2 town square in Petaling Jaya in the early 2000s, you would know that there are 2 shops there that you can borrow books home for a fee. One is called Walk-in-Rent-A-Book and the other was called Novel House.

The concept is very easy. You go in, browse for the books that you like. They do have a huge selection of books from English to Chinese and even comic books for rent. Once you have selected the book or books of choice, pay a deposit and a fee (the fee varies from book to book) and then you can take the book home for as long as you wish. When you are done with it, you bring it back, check it in and collect back your deposit.

While it might not appeal to some people, the concept does work and is an extremely worthwhile arrangement especially if you love to read but don’t want to spend lots of money buying the books or you don’t want to collect these books. It’s also quite a good way to check out authors that you are not familiar with. I have got to know of works from Dean Koontz and many others from such establishments. Quite similar than going to the library except that these are private enterprises and you don’t have to be a member or register your name or anything. Now, let’s say for some reason you like a particular book and decided that it’s a keeper, you can choose not to return the book and just keep it. You will then forfeit your deposit which ranged from RM10 to RM30 depending on the book.

My entry here is about these 2 books that I rented from Novel House sometimes in year 2006. When I wanted to return them after a month or so, I was shocked to discover that the shop has 'chaplap', tutup kedai, close shop or whatever term you fancy.  Instead, it has been converted to a textile shop. When I asked the sales person in the textile shop, they said they have been there for nearly a month. That means, Novel House closed its business around the time I rented these 2 books. As there are no forwarding contacts, there’s no way I can get my deposit amounting to RM40 back. Needless to say, I was pretty upset over it. I could have gotten a brand new book with my RM40.

And that was how these two ended up in my collections. If they are living beings, they would be suffering from rejection syndrome as I didn't want to keep them in the first place.

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