Businesses like this still exist.
Imagine. No website. No Facebook page. No Twitter. Not even an email address?
Stepping into Puan Natrah’s bookshop is like stepping into the 1980s. Perhaps even 1960s?
In front of her small, quaint shop is a much faded signboard that reads “Book Street”. It may be the only book outlet in Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. If it isn’t, then there probably isn’t one like it for miles around.
“We’ve sold almost all the copies of your encyclopedia,” she said to me from behind her glass counter.
“That’s great,” I said. “Do you rent those out?”
“Oh no, I sell them. We rent out other books.”
“I see. You know I’ve got about 200 of my late father’s biography sitting in my brother’s store room,” I said. “Are you interested in taking them?”
Puan Natrah glanced at me quizzically. Then, with a grin, she nodded.
A couple of days later I brought them over and helped stack them up for her.
Although most of the books are in excellent condition, because of the passage of time, some of them are less than perfect. Hence she agreed to sell them at RM15 each, even though the normal retail price is RM39.
“The cheaper price will help sell them,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of stock …”
“I’ll blog about your shop,” I said. “Hopefully, it’ll give you a bit more exposure.”
So anyway, Book Street is in Seri Hartamas. It’s beside the small car park next to Old Town White Coffee. The one opposite the vegetarian restaurant and Moma, the art gallery.
So if you get a chance, drop into Puan Natrah’s shop. She doesn’t have a computer, so instead of staring at a screen, she’ll say hello and you could even have a chat!
That’s what we did.