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.

8. The Great Gatsby, at Technology Park

She's in my biometrics class. Spotted while walking to my car after class ended. She was probably waiting out the rain.

Yes sir, she's reading The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald. And not only that, but a fantastic vintage copy of it. I asked her if it was from the library and she said it was her own. She wanted to read it because she knew it was one of "those books" that everyone read while growing up, and she doesn't want to be left out.

She's currently at Chapter 2. She says she brings a book with her everywhere "or I'd just die of boredom really."

7. junior reader, Hospital Kuala Lumpur

His father happily reports that he's inherited the tendency to "bring along some reading material" anywhere he goes. He is visiting his grandfather in the hospital, asked for a chair, "and the rest was automatic."

This awesome junior reader was spotted by SivinKit, and I'm posting this on his behalf. If you have any you spotted, email them to me at dizzyfirefly (gmail).

cannot. wait. for. this.

I mentioned in the sidebar that this little blog would fit perfectly with the Read While Waiting Project. It'll be on the 23rd of August and finally a reprieve from frustrating people-hunting while I run my errands! Tell all your friends about RWP!

spoke too soon.

Woke up today as sick as all hell. No class & therefore no train ride for me. On a happier note, thank you so much to bibliobibuli for the good word and to peoplereading for considering us as family :)

It's been harder than we thought to find Malaysians reading in public. Does this or does this not surprise you?

6. Twilight, last one backstage

There's been a lot of hype about Meyer lately with Breaking Dawn coming out to internationally abysmal reviews. I haven't read the series myself, but she bought this book to "see what the fuss was all about." She is currently at page 432, and says the book is "okay lah" and she can see why teenagers love it. She describes the book as "fluffy, and the writer takes this much of the book to build up the plot,"

She just started on it yesterday and says she's the type who likes to read three books at one time.

PS: tagging along with a classmate tomorrow while he runs his errands in KL. I'll be on the train. Bring your book!

5. 100 Minutes To Change The World, backstage yet again

I know there's a lot of theatre posts here, but it's only because I've practically been living backstage the past week as part of a 10 minute play festival. My part is over for now, but I still have one more post from backstage after this! It's starting to look almost staged (pardon the pun), but I swear to you, it isn't. I was in the dressing room, & the girl from two posts back asked me to check out the Green Room cause she saw a few people reading. Like her:

(Maybe in conjunction with the 10 minute play festival), she was reading a small book of 10 minute local plays from the website Kakiseni. None of them were staged at the festival but I remembered getting this from free from them a few months back.

Like him, it wasn't her book but she found it lying around the Green Room. It's a collection of scripts and she likes what she's read so far. Her favourite book is Princess by Jean P. Sasson, and she mainly favours women biographies. "But I'm not a feminist though."

4. Joy Luck Club, backstage again

He is reading Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. He says he might not even be really reading it. Just found it lying around backstage. The last book he "properly" read was months ago: Casino Royale.

3. Do They? in a KLPAC dressing room

I didn't spot her with a book the first three nights, but by the fourth night when I entered the backstage dressing room to get something, I found her reading while waiting for her play to start.

There was considerably less chaos backstage by then, enough for her to get back to her reading, which in this case happens to be They Don't Get It, Do They? by Kathleen Kelley Reardon.

Purchased from a flea market. She buys her books secondhand or from the discount bin, since they cost a lot more "fresh from the store." Prefers non-fiction, like self-help, linguistics, or anything to do with gender roles in society. The chapter she's currently reading focuses on how women & men handle intimidating office talk.

If she reads in 1-2 sittings, it takes her 2 days to finish a book. But since she squeezes reading into any free time she has, each usually takes 2 weeks.

2. Beyond The Dark Portal at KL Sentral

I was in such a hurry in KL Sentral that I almost missed this man, presumably with a Subway sandwich in his belly:

I didn't have much time to take a photo, because most of it was spent asking him if I could take a photo. He is reading World Of Warcraft: Beyond The Dark Portal. Not only is he an avid fan of the game, he also is a collector of the book series as well as "other science fiction stuff". He also likes Tom Clancy.

1. a Buffy comic at KLPAC

There is a lovely mini library in the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center (KLPAC). Bibliobibuli mentioned this cosy & free reading corner in 2007. Some of the books are a little scarred from surviving a Dataran Merdeka flood, but there are definitely gems. I found a rare Piccolo cover of one of my favourite books in the whole world:

And I also found her, reading Buffy The Vampire Slayer; The Long Way Home:

But not from the library shelves. Comic book, graphic novel, call it what you want. This is the second series she reads, her favourite being Dragonball. But she also reads "proper" books, like fiction. She admits to being a sappy romantic who likes Nicholas Sparks (her favourite is The Rescue).

PS: I've been told the library counter also sells Maggi noodles for RM1.80 (hot water included!) to snack on while you read. You can bring your own snacks of course.

about reading.

some of my favourite quotes about reading.

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
- Mason Cooley

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.

- Ray Bradbury

Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.

- Mary Schmich


Drawing inspiration from peoplereading, future posts on this website will feature the books people are reading in the city, with focus primarily on the book and the person's book stories, rather than the name or face of the person (although some photos will have faces, I suppose).

A National Library survey said that only 13% of 27 million Malaysians read books. Come into the light, where we can see you :)