Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Floating Bookshop

Caving Liz e-mailed to ask if I was going to Port Klang to buy cheap books.

Now, I thought the poor girl'd taken leave of her senses. (Spelunking or whatever cavers do plays havoc with the brain cells, probably.) The words "Klang" and "books" just don't collocate. Ask Lydia who drives miles to Payless when she needs a fix.

But it seems that Liz was right. Books there are aplenty. And they're on board a ship!

Doulos is the world's oldest active ocean-going passenger ship, and was purchased by a Gute Bücher für Alle e.V. (Good Books for All), a private, non-profit, charitable organisation registered in Germany. Basically it serves as a floating bookfair, visiting port cities around the world, "supplying vital literary resources" to communities that don't usually have access to them. (Backward places like Klang).

It carries a stock of half a million books and 4,000 available titles which:
cover a wide range of subjects, such as science, sports, hobbies, cookery, the arts, economics and medicine ... The books have been carefully chosen to cater to interests of all ages, and keeping in mind the educational, social and moral needs of the local community. A large selection is devoted especially to children. Local language materials supplement the vast array of English books. The books are offered at a fraction of their retail value.
For more information, browse the website. Doulos is in Port Klang until August 1st.

I might have to go suss this out!

20 comments:

sympozium said...

Been on board twice, never liked their weird selection of books!

ShaolinTiger said...

The 'Good Books for All' are all religious books, if that's your taste it's ok.

Don't expect anything you recognise ;)

sympozium said...

Yes, Shaolintiger's right. They're all these moralistic books from unheard of publishers. No corrupting titles there! Go more for the fun on boarding a ship.

bibliobibuli said...

eeeekkks! you've both scared me off ....

bibliobibuli said...

i want to be corrupted! i like books that corrupt me. no fun in fiction unless it's deviant!

cavingliz said...

I did wonder if they would be religious or moral books. But I'll still go as it would be nice to see the ship.

bibliobibuli said...

liz - my sister and her family are coming soon, was thinking it might be a nice day out with a seafood lunch thrown in

sympozium said...

Sharon, I think you should go. You owe it to your blogsite to go ! :-)))))

Don't let my/our comments put you off. I'm cynical. The sea air'll be wonderful. And the sense of camarederie among the Dolousians is impressive. And if there are no corrputing books, YOU can always corrupt the sailor boys there :-)))

eyeris said...

The last time the Doulous was in town I went they excitedly hoping for lots of good books as well.

And it says a lot about the selection of books when all I bought was two postcards.

too many religious and moralistic books for MY liking, I'm afraid. :P

Lydia Teh said...

Doulos specializes in religious books. Have picked up some Christian books from there and kids' stuff too. But they're not necessarily cheap.

Go for the experience, even if you don't intend to make purchases. But be warned that it can be sweltering hot on the ship. There's no air-conditioning and the few fans scattered round the place isn't of much use. Don't wear high heels, could be tricky in climbing up the steps to the ship.

Haven't been to Doulos yet this time round. Only had an inkling they were around when I passed by a Doulos sign two days ago, posted in a car park near my kids' school. And I went huh? MV Doulos in a car park? Where? I know, sometimes I can be blur-blur.

Paybless, oops typo, Payless is still my favourite bookshop. There used to be one in Klang, but I think Klangites don't appreciate second hand books. Like you've said, Sharon, I have to drive miles to get to the nearest Paybless.

starlight said...

i heard about Doulos before it docked and was itching to go until a friend emailed me the intinerary.it was chock-a-bloc with activities but every single one had to do with religion! was wondering if the books would also be along the same lines and now that sympozium. shaolintiger and eyeris have confirmed that, i don't think i'll be going after all. but do go, sharon! and tell us all about it!!

sympozium said...

Yes, the activities verged on the happy-clappy sort...but agree with consensus : GO! :-) It'll be fun. You can't be a self-confessed bibliophile and not visit a floating bookshop, whatever its contents :-) The Doulosians are friendly and won't be obnoxious.

lil ms d said...

i want to go i want to go! i want to get out of kl!

bibliobibuli said...

goodness - may do .... but am not seducing any sailors sympozium! may go by commuter week after next when my sis and the kids are here from UK .... they are bound to find klang exotic ... amd ms d if you want to tag along you are most welcome

cavingliz said...

Just back from Doulos. Am glad I went, didn't buy any books though. Most are on the religious side, but they do have several on cooking, garden, and lots of kids stuffs, and cassettes. As Lydia Teh said its quite hot on board, luckily it wasn't too crowded. But there is a Starbucks stall serving coffee! I asked and got a tour of the ship, that's when I learnt how "religious" it all is. The activities have finished, though there isan International cafe with music on 29 night. Sharon,not sure how you would get to Doulos from Kommuter train???

Anonymous said...

"Doulos" means "servant" in Greek. That's all you really need to know about their book selection :)

Lydia Teh said...

Sharon, give me a call when you're coming to Klang. Can meet up and give you a ride to Doulos. Komuter doesn't go directly there. CavingLiz must've gone on a weekday when it wasn't so crowded. Weekend crowds are usually big.

Jiwa Rasa said...

Thinking of going by the end of the month. I missed the experience last year. Regardless of the selection of books, I will not gonna misss it this time around.

Maybe you could share your own experience in this blog...

Yvonne Foong said...

I loved the books there! Bought about RM180 in books. Good prices... wanna get more but my friend was hurrying me. It was hot but I can stay forever among books!

Anonymous said...

OMG.. cassettes ! :)