32. The Medium Is The Massage, at Desa Sri Hartamas

reading while: waiting for dinner

Bumped into a friend I haven't seen in months, reading while waiting for his dinner. Anyone who knows me would know the inside joke of why I love the title of the book he's reading:

It's an adaptation of a piece of work, a kind of collage documenting pictures, quotes, text inspired by one source. There were a lot of names on the cover so he ran me through them; McLuhan is the author, Fiore is the co-author, and Jerome Agel produced the book, but I'm not sure what that means. He keeps a separate house for his book library (very near to mine, thrillingly).

When I asked him what book he would like to make an adaptation of, he said Nabokov's Lolita. In fact, he's already started!

31. Neighbourhood Tales, at Starbucks KLCC

reading while: at Starbucks

I think this is the third reader caught reading at Starbucks KLCC. She was reading Dewi Anggraeni's Neighbourhood Tales.

30. Transmission, Berjaya Times Square, Oct 18

This is going to be a rather narcissistic book spot: myself, & Hari Kunzru's Transmission, at Berjaya Times Square mall. Here's the story:

I tagged along with a loved one to queue up for a limited edition pair of kicks. Since I'm not a sneaker fanatic all I can remember is that it had something to do with Melbourne? Anyway. We had to wait quite a while and the crowd piled up. I didn't even realize someone was taking photos. Yesterday the same loved one messaged me asking is it possible to spot yourself on readkl? I was like "heh?" and he said he found a photo of me reading in the STREEThing forums. I'll make a small exception here only because posting has been very slow lately, and I didn't stage the photo.

I did however take a photo of the cover on my blog at the time I started reading it:

So whoever took this, leave a comment, and I'll credit you :) Here's the forum link again where the original photo was found.

29. The Messenger, in Pudu

reading while: being early for church choir practice

I became a contributor to this blog this very day. To start off the adventure, I thought I'd see if I can spot any readers during lunch time in OneUtama ... no such luck. Those in the old wing were too busy with the Jusco Sale and the new wing was rather empty. Every person I did catch seated on benches was intently staring into their cellphones. Have you got a book in there?

So much for the first day of being a readkl.blogspot.com contributor, I thought.

But all is not lost.

I did not expect it but in the evening, I was at church to attend choir practice. Still early, one of my friends trudged in, plonked herself on a pew and fished out a book!

There, my first one on my first day:

She was reading Daniel Silva's The Messenger. She told me the book is pretty good. I have not been much in the spy thriller genre lately. I must check it out the next time I am at the bookstore.

28. three in a row on the LRT this morning

reading while: on the LRT

I found this in my inbox a few minutes ago. A reader June sent it in around 9am and said that she found not one, but three people reading in a row on the LRT this morning!

They are reading (left to right)
  1. A Shopaholic book
  2. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
  3. Deception Point by Dan Brown
June wrote:
I was happy to spot three readers in a row. :) I think the two girls may know each other, but the other guy was definitely a stranger to all.
However she didn't ask for permission (hmmm) so if you're one of these readers and would like to have this photo removed, do say so. Thanks June for being a spontaneous contributor! It would be great if more people were like you (but, you know, asked for permission as well).

in which we get spotted!

Thanks to Gabey Goh for the soft copy!

ReadKL makes the news!

Want to spot us for a change? We're hiding somewhere in today's Malay Mail paper! (Tuesday, October 14)

edit: if anyone could scan the page for us, that'd be great. the online link to the article is here but it lacks Uzair's shot and the accompanying Sonya article.

27. The Rough Guide To Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, at KLCC

reading while: at Starbucks

It was 8am. The first time i've woke up this early in months. Trying to change my vampirism habit. Anyhow, around 10 I decided to head out to KLCC. Since my college is only 5 minutes away by cab I usualy go there on a regular basis for a bite or read. The place doesn't have much to offer if your a regular Malaysian who's seen the former tallest towers in the world and walked the pavements along the symphony fountain almost everyday. But for this 35 year old tourist from England, it has to much give.

I was having a drink at the outdoor Starbucks while reading when I spotted him. He was quite drawn into the book. Reading intently on various articles of the best tourist attractions and maps I suppose. At first I hesitated since it wasn't actually a novel or so. But still it was a book nonetheless. So I approached him and asked him for an interview. He was open enough to accept my invitation with a wide smile. He was reading "The Rough Guide To Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei" and just arrived yesterday. Quite the coincidence. Stated his reasons of coming being of pleasure. He was reading the book since he's pretty much lost around here. He found various places through it and had made lots of color indicated bookmarks in it. After a little small talk here and there I took my leave.

Oh by the way, the book that I was reading was "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. It's quite an interesting read. Just bought the book. I've heard reviews from my friend's saying it's very heart rending. Do check it out. And hei, this is actually my first post for this site. Thank you for reading. ;)

26. Asian Godfathers, at Mont Kiara

reading while: at a cafe

for the first time ever, i'm blogging from my phone! I spotted this guy while on a raya break. He's reading this book to study how Asian businessmen become so successful. It's part of his plan for world domination.

He only reads non-fiction these days. He dropped the habit of reading fiction about five years ago because he felt he couldn't relate to it enough.

Food for thought: Do your reading choices gravitate to one particular genre too? How differently do you relate to fiction vs. nonfiction? Feel free to answer in the comments!

bonus: reading in bed

I don't know about the other contributors, but I've been having no luck lately finding anyone reading out in public. So to celebrate my frustration, I include the song Reading In Bed for your listening pleasure. Download it here! It's a brief and beautiful song by Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. Sometimes it's hard to explain how appropriate this song feels to me. Anyway, ReadKL wishes all its readers happy Ramadan!

25. The Silmarillion, on the LRT

reading while: on the LRT

Sorry about the (very) blurry pictures! I was using my camphone to begin with, and apparently I can't take decent pictures in a moving train :(
Anyway, she is reading The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. She just came back from her brother's place and "borrowed" the book from him.  She said that the first time she tried to read The Lord of the Rings was a bit too heavy, but after watching the movies she dug up her books to try again. It's quite a lucky thing she did, because now it's one of her favorites! By now, she has read the books around 6 or 7 times. I wanted to ask if she's read The Children of Hurin, but I forgot.

24. The Science of Leonardo, at A&W Taman Jaya

reading while: eating

She is reading The Science of Leonardo by Fritjof Capra. She reads mostly mysteries and thrillers (especially books by Grisham, and Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code), as well as the occasional chick lit. While the book she is reading is about Leonardo Da Vinci, it focuses more on the science/physics during the renaissance era than Da Vinci's art. She says it's interesting because it explores his work as a scientist.

23. Last of the Wilds, at A&W Taman Jaya

reading while: at A&W after school

This is at an A&W branch, near the Taman Jaya LRT station. She is reading Trudi Canavan's Last of the Wilds, which is the second book of the Age of the Five trilogy. She is a fan of Trudi Canavan's, and have already read the Black Magician trilogy. She loves to read, and reads around 2 to 3 books a week.

22. Setulus Cinta, KLCC

reading while: on work break

I was already going back to work when I noticed this girl reading in the dressing room. She is reading Setulus Cinta by Siti Farrah Shahwir. She wraps her books in brown paper, so I can't really take a picture of the book cover, but you could see the cover and synopsis (in Malay) here. She reads a lot of novels in Malay, and is just starting on this one.

21. Shugo Chara! #1, at KLCC

reading while: on lunch break

This colleague is reading Shugo Chara! volume 1. She reads a lot of manga, mostly of the shojo (targeted towards girl readers) variety. Since she has time to kill during lunch breaks, she has been trying out various manga that she finds interesting.

20. Lullabies For Little Criminals, at KLCC

reading while: fasting during lunch break

Since it's Ramadhan, I've caught several colleagues reading in the pantry instead of eating! She is reading Lullabies For Little Criminals, by Heather O'Neill. She bought this book from Bookxcess. She is just starting it so she didn't have that much to say about the book, except that she's liking it so far.

19. The Da Vinci Code at Central Market Annexe

reading while: at an arts event

Was waiting to perform at Merdeka Cafe, for the Art For Grabs bazaar, when I spotted this woman in the audience reading in between sets.

It's the first time she's reading it, because she's already seen the movie and wanted to compare. She's a lecturer of art and design, so the art in the novel really interests her. The book is hers and she is a Grisham addict.

PS: forgot to add, I wanted to ask her if she could write a novel based on any piece of art, which would it be, because by then I had to go prep for performance. So let's leave it an open question:

Which piece of art would you write a novel around/about?

technical difficulties.

I spotted someone on the 31st, but still can't spot my memory card reader. Please hold, folks.

18. Emma Brown, at KLCC

My friend was saving a table for us while I buy lunch. When I came back I found her reading Emma Brown by Clare Boylan. She bought this book at the Kinokuniya bargain buy promotion last week - how lucky!

She usually reads historical or horror novels, and had been a fan of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre since her school days. So she was happy to find this book, and was immediately drawn by the description on the back cover. She is just starting on the book, and says that she loves it already!

17. One Hit Wonder, at KLCC

Caught reading Lisa Jewell's One Hit Wonder in the staff locker/dressing room. She is fasting, so she reads during her lunch break. She likes to try different kinds of books, and bought this book from Kinokuniya' bargain buy promo last week.

While she reads different types of books, lately she is trying out more popular women's literature (chick lit). This is her first time reading Lisa Jewell and she's enjoying it very much.

16. Into Thin Air at KL Sentral

This is my friend who sat beside me for a good more than 15 minutes for the Reading While Waiting Project. He was on the way to another appointment but then called me up, and said he'd join us first.

Perhaps, reading the book in his hand contributed to the last minutes adventurousness? :-) Metaphorically, I do think reading does open up the mind to unlimited adventures.

15. Read While Waiting Project, KL Sentral, Aug 23

I couldn't attend the Read While Waiting Project, and Uzair also had undisclosed difficulties. But amazingly enough, we have a few anonymous email contributions for this blog! Sorry I'm not using all of them, since I prefer photos where what they're reading is clearer. As for photos of the general flashmob, they're a Google search away. I have my own opinions on flashmobs here in Malaysia but I won't go into that. However, I do think reading while waiting is the only way to wait. And to be a sport, here is one general photo. Just one ok!

Here's a submitted write-up of the event:
Random Alphabets organised another event that brought people of Kuala Lumpur together to do the same thing for specified time at specified location. This time, they brought a book and read it for fifteen minutes (or at least pretend to read) at KL Central.

Some were already reading before 3PM (the time they're supposed to start) and the rest were lingering around. At 3PM the people near KFC got together and sat in a circle to read their books. The patrons ignored their chicken for a moment to figure out what was happening. Meanwhile, those between the KTM entrances stood still and began to read their books. Sharon Bakar and Marina Mahathir were spotted in the crowd as well.

Read While Waiting Project was done for a good cause and it was a great way to create awareness but let us not stop there. We don't have to wait for another random flash mob to pick up a book again.

- Anon.

And here's a submitted entry, readkl style!

She's an events coordinator, reading Lady Friday by Garth Nix while waiting for the Read While Waiting Project to kick off. She was disappointed that not many came to KL Sentral to join the cause. Perhaps she was comparing it to the previous event (KL Freeze) also by Random Alphabets which attracted hundreds of KLlites to participate.

- Submitted by Anonymous Ah Chong.

And here are a few books people chose to bring to the flashmob (the ones I could make out, at least):

  1. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder (lovely author. My favourite book of his is Solitaire Mystery)
  2. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray
  3. The Rape Of Nanking by Iris Chang
  4. a book in Chinese which I can't make out
  5. When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris, which I mentioned in my previous post!
Thanks to the anonymous submissions (although I wouldn't be surprised if it was just one person, hmm) and hello to the new contributors I just approved! Can't wait to see who and which book you spot next.

14. From KL Sentral to Pudu Raya

Nope, he was not at KL Sentral to join the Reading While Waiting Project. But he did it anyway!

This pakcik ("uncle") was reading while waiting before heading off to start work at Pudu Raya.

Nothing beats reading the good old newspaper, right? :-)

*Update from Sivin: Apologies to all ... perhaps I was overexcited. The focus should be on books, not on newspapers or magazines. Thanks Ari for the reminder! I will leave the post on though at least for the pakcik's gaya! *

nothing to do with spotting people reading, but...

If you haven't gone treasure-hunting at the Times Warehouse Sale in Hartamas Shopping Center, you should. In fact, you must. I went absolutely berserk there (and now I starve for the rest of the month). Here's my value-for-money grab:

The new fabulously funny David Sedaris book When You Are Engulfed In Flames is 30% off only during sales period, then goes back to regular price. The cheapest book in my grab is Jonathan Coe's 9th & 13th which was MYR1.50. I'm bad at math, but I think my total was an average of MYR14 a book. It's really, quite ridiculous.

Read While Waiting Project explodes later today! I can't make it after all, but Uzair will be there to hunt for you and your book.

PS: contributor positions are always open. I'll approve posting authorization, but your name won't be listed on the sidebar till you've posted!

13. 3 Kids and a Book at Westin Hotel

What do you do before the doors open for the wedding dinner to start?

How about sitting on the floor and read while waiting?

This is what three children did on 12 July 2008 Saturday. It started with one, then another joined and one more!

12. The Law Of Probability, at KLCC

I was about to walk straight back to the train station after lunch at KLCC, but I decided to take a little detour around the park and see if anyone was reading. This was the only guy I could find, in Starbucks.

Turns out he's Korean and is in town for a summit of some kind. He's reading a Korean book on the Law Of Probability, and he also likes to read economic books. I really like the cover.

11. a Chinese history book, on the train

She was very shy about being photographed, but she told me it was a book on Chinese history, and although she does read English, she prefers Chinese literature.

Does anyone know what this says?

10. at Masjid Jamek, 3:25pm

She was on the other side of the train tracks, READING, and I couldn't do anything about it!

9. Teach Yourself Malay, on the train

He's a really nice Czech guy who was reading Teach Yourself Malay. I asked him how that was going and he said he's having trouble with pronunciation mostly. He also speaks four other languages and helped me along with my awful German.

Rambutans! I love the cover! He's studying in Universiti Malaya at the moment.