I will confess to always being late. No, not late for appointments, but reading the latest books …

With appointments, I have the awful habit of being early. Even when I try to be late. There’s some internal clock in me that doesn’t allow me to be late. (I know, you’re going to quote me, the next time I’m late for lunch/dinner/whatever … but that wouldn’t be my fault, honest!).

Being habitually early is quite okay in some countries, but in Malaysia, where “Malaysian time” prevails, it can leave you fuming. If dinner is at 8pm, don’t leave the house until 8.30pm or you’ll be the first to be there and waiting for the others.

“Come over to the house at six”.

“Malaysia time” means don’t get there until 7pm. Otherwise you’ll look too keen. It might even be rude. The mistress of the house is still having a shower. The master is still in singlet and shorts, perhaps washing the dog. You’ll have no one to talk to but the cicak on the wall.

Back to being late for books.

I’ll confess that I’m probably the one of the last people to read the 2008 Man Booker Prize Winner The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.

Another Aravind contacted me several years ago about writing a screenplay to my first novel Dark Demon Rising. Hmmm … I wonder what’s happened to him. Vampires seem to be so “in” these days, especially teenage ones. Bookshop shelves now sprout the label “Paranormal romance”. I ask you, which romance isn’t?

Talking crap again, TH?

Maybe. Anyway, I picked up a real bargain at a secondhand book fair the other day. A Century of Creepy Stories with the previous owner’s inscription inside dated 1934.

Book cover
A Century of Creepy Stories

The hardback cover is torn. But I smell it’s musty history as I flip through its yellowing and stained pages. Here’s something you just can’t pick up in any glaringly bright bookshop filled with glossy book covers, the same volumes you see in shop after shop. Here’s a tome that you can’t tuck under you arm to show the world that you’re reading the latest and greatest. Here’s a non-brand name-book!

Second hand books anyone?

That’s why I love second hand shops. You’ll never know what you might uncover there.

And, it also means, that you’re never late reading them! 🙂

Now, a word from our sponsor …

SCHOOLS PROGRAMME
There’s a new Schools Programme available for History of Malaysia – A Children’s Encyclopedia. Schools and teachers can purchase the book at substantial discounts for students. More info is available at the website.

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