Tuesday, March 28, 2006

MPH Celebrates Its Big Birthday

A rather blurry photo snapped at yesterday's launch of MPH's 100 years celebrations at 1 Utama:

... which doesn't really do credit to the glitz of the occasion.

The Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister, YB Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim was guest of honour and gave a talk about the importance of publishing and encouraging reading in the Malaysian context. He also said that the Ministry would seek MPH's help with the reading campaign, (due to start very soon, he said) and underlined the government's commitment to encouraging publishing.

Then the fun began. A shower of gold paper rained down on the crowd, a couple of absailers dressed like the guys from Mission Impossible descended from the ceiling and unfurled a huge banner, balloons cascaded, a hoard of girls dressed in crinolines performed a (somewhat tacky - sorry, but then I love tacky) musical number while waving books around.

Friends of MPH included plenty of friends of mine too, so it was good catching up on gossip over refreshments. Was happy too with my goody bag with literary mug, notebook, pen and bookmark. Many thanks.

I went up to the bookshop after that to take a look at the exhibition detailing the history of MPH in the Booker Room:

And it really was very well done with old photographs and pages from early publications. Wish MPH was selling posters of some of the illustrations, because they are nice enough to want on the wall. (The picture of the little Malay boy gazing out of the window of his kampong house to illustrate Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in a book of nursery rhymes, for example.) MPH are urgently trying to find copies of their early publications, few of which still survive, so if you have any ...

MPH has a sale on at the moment, and if you clipped the coupon from Sunday's Star, you can get 35% discount. Without the coupon there's a discount of 20% for card holders, and 15% for non-card holders.

I got tempted to buy Margaret Atwood quirky collection of short pieces The Tent.


q said...

aww, wish i knew about this.

are the illustrations the same style as the one on the postcard they sent out? i thought that was really good, great job! :-)

bibliobibuli said...

i didn't get a postcard ... did i? *scratches head and tries to remember*

but anyway q, it's on until next tues so you can probably still make it (and after that it is going to be at other stores)... and being a photographer, i think you'd really enjoy it

Walker said...

Wow. 100 years old. I wonder how old Britain's oldest book chain is? Not that old, surely? I can only think of small, independent stores that are older.

Anonymous said...

That's not the oldest either. STP is 200 years old I think :)

bibliobibuli said...

walker - how about w.h.smiths established 1792?

anon - the straits times was first published 1845, but when did the company move into books?

Anonymous said...

Not a clue.. was there even a publishing industry in 1845 ? I'd have thought back then books would have been for royalty or something.

Yeah Smiths.. there would be older ones of course.. in 1792 I think it was pretty much the Malacca Sultanate and not much else (my history sux but I'm not looking it up :) )