Monday, September 18, 2006

Time for Times

I did go to the Times warehouse sale. After the Pay less sale last weekend RM20 for a brand new hardback seems extortionate. But I got several books which made me very happy indeed. Some were nicer copies of books I already have, some filled gaps. My best buys as follows:

I'd meant to buy Julian Barnes short story collection The Lemon Table when it first came out, but didn't for some reason, so am delighted to have found it in hardback for 20 bucks.

I got What Was She Thinking: Notes from a Scandal by Zoe Heller (The British edition of the book is simply Notes from a Scandal - much better title). This is the book that should have beaten Life of Pi to win the Booker. Chilling ... and one of the cleverest novels using an unreliable narrator ever written. I'd lent out my copy of this book and it never got back to me, so a pothole in the heart is refilled.

My itch to acquire some good Japanese literature was scratched with Tanizaki's Diary of a Mad Old Man (Swifty will be proud of me!) and the American lit itch was taken care of with E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime.

I found Handwriting, a collection of poems by Michael Ondaatje and into the basket it went.

There was much much more I could have given a home to, but I feel very blessed with this little haul.

How does the sale compare to previous Times sales? Perhaps better than the last one. But there isn't the party mood of the Pay Less sale. It was very hot and stuffy in that room. And the dust is pretty thick on some of the books, so if you do go, don't wear white (as silly me did). And it broke my heart to see how some books were just thrown on the tables - please treat them with respect lah! Books have feelings too.


Sharanya Manivannan said...

Handwriting... :) :) :)

wmsoo said...

I went on the 1st day itself, fnding a parking on a weekday in horrendous, I was "shoo away" twice because apparently I've parked in other organisation premises. Due to limited time didn't browse through entire floor but returned with the following books:-

Small Island - Andrea Levy
War Trash - Ha Jin
In a sunburned country - Bill Bryson
After the quake - Haruki Murakami

marisa said...

and where were you on friday, madam biblio? we missed u!

i liked the new pricing system: one for RM8 (for paperbacks), M35 for 5, and (i think) 12 for RM60. there was a system for the trades and hardbacks too, but i can't remember what they were. anyway, just to share my haul:

1. the complete poetry of pablo neruda by pablo neruda
2. sightseeing by rattawut lapcharoensap
3. we need to talk about kevin by lionel shriver
4. the malayan trilogy by anthony burgess
5. literary occasions by v.s.naipul
6. something rotten by jasper fforde
7. cover to cover by robert craig
8. how to be alone by jonathan franzen
9. the end of our tethers by alistair grey
10. tracing it home: journeys around a chinese family by lynn pann

Ted Mahsun said...

The dust really was thick on the books. I went on Saturday and ended up having to lie down most of Sunday because of the nasty case of sniffles I got.

I still sneeze whenever I leaf through the books I got (list on my blog).

starlight said...

a quick question. and this is for all of you.

when you go to a booksale, do you already have a mental list of books or do you play it by eye? And what convinces you that an obscure book is a good read?

i never go with a list. i took one along with me once and found that my vision was so myopic that i missed so many good reads. and i'm a sucker for covers. then i speed read a random page and make my decision.


Yvonne Lee said...

Hi Sharon! I got 'rabun mata' after having scanned through the rows and rows of books. Spoilt for choice but really, the prices...hahaha, Payless ( and Big Book Shop sale) spoilt us.

Anyway, I went on FRI and in 35 minutes ( using my one hour break from boss aka hubby rolling his eyes and shaking head) got back with

Lynn Pan's "Tracing it Home"

Rani Manicka's "Touching Earth"

Kate Long's " Bad Mother's Handbook"

Stephen King's "The Tower" ( i think)

one Christian book

All the books I had wanted but didn't buy earlier... (waiting for sales mah!)

Starlight, I don't go with a list but when I see a title that I had wanted to get but yet to buy, I GRAB IT FAST!

Anyway, it's great to read about what others hauled from sale too....ah, the excitement of a good bargain got me dizzy already.

Went again on SUN with hubby but didn't get anything for myself. Hubby got some music books.

Ted Mahsun said...

Starlight, I don't use a list. I use the same criteria for buying a book where ever I am - I buy whatever grabs my interest.

A book usually holds my interest if I enjoy reading the first few pages and then flip to a page in the middle and enjoy them too. Of course, this means I spend hours at a sale... Also, it helps for the book if I've read about it on the internet beforehand.

boo_licious said...

I was extremely happy since I got my Donna Hay magazines for RM5 each and a cookbook I have been salivating for.

The Visitor said...

i hate those browsers who put their boxes of books on TOP of the books on the tables. why can't they just put them on the floor?

not only do they damage the books on sale, they also block the view of other browsers.


sympozium said...

The best Times sale was in 2004, around the end of the year (now I sound like an old man!). The sale this time wasn't that great.

Anyway Sharon, I got the Tanizaki as well. And two Jake Needham thrillers. He's an American living in Bangkok and his books are set there as well. (Must read crap now and again as well in order to appreciate the greats more!)

sympozium said...

Oh, and there was a pile of Andre Brink's book, The Rights of Desire as well (guess what it's about, as usual!). Readable but not as good as his others.

bibliobibuli said...

you guys really make me laugh. i only have to mention "what did you buy?" and everyone wants to share their war stories and trophies!

sharanya - am so happy with it. i guess you've read it and got it already being such a big fan. worth looking for in teh poetry is Leong Liew Geok's "women without men" which i really like

i should have gone first day, marisa. am jealous of some of your finds.

wmsoo - jealous of yours too

starlight - *sigh* i read so much about books for this blog (even stuff i don't post about) and when i work on booklists for the british council library and from looking longingly at eric's blog - i know what to home in on as soon as i see it. i don't even open the books before i plop them into my basket. they feel like old friends. (if i browsed for longer i'd fall in love with the titles i hadn't heard of and then be bankrupt!)

yvonne - thanks for mentioning me in your article. but you did make me sound saner than i really am! glad you got some nice books - not bad for 35 mins!

sympozium - you do sound like an old fogey *LOL*. glad the sale was not better, i couldn't have afforded much more. hadn't heard of jake needham. and don't worry everyone needs a read they can relax with in between the great stuff. ... hmmm i can see i'm going to have to read andre brink soon.

boo_licious - the cookbooks were very nice. i was almost tempted by the jamie's. but i just bought his first book the other day when i visited the penguin offices and another really beautiful book from the payless sale. until i actually get round to cooking something, no more cookbooks!

visitor - i got pissed off by the same thing. and people who just root through the books chucking them right left and centre. it hurts me!!

rol said...

Thanks, everyone, for the info.

yvonne, I believe the more accurate expression would be 'rambang mata', and yes I know exactly what you mean. I experienced that during the Pay Less sale I went to couple of months ago.

I'm planning to go there tomorrow with my Indonesian friend . From what I can gather, should we bring along a damp rag?

marisa said...

starlight, i don't have a list and like ted, i just buy what interests me. but being aware of what's new and what's good out there helps. for books that i've never heard of, i'm not so much attracted to them by the covers but by titles. i'd pick up the book, read the synopsis at the back and then the first few pages to get a feel of it. works MOST of the time for me (although on rare occasions, i'd start reading the book proper and after the first few chapters go, "BLEARH!").

rol, no need to take a kain buruk basah lah, but try to take a bottle of water. it's so arid in there that your throat will feel parched in minutes.

sympozium said...

"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times."


bibliobibuli said...

war stories truly!

someone could market "warehouse sale survival kits"!

sympozium - wow, that's such a good line! i think i might use it for my next novel

Ted Mahsun said...

Er... but didn't Dickens beat you to it already?

Anyway, next time I'm bringing a haze mask or something. Ah choooo!

Anonymous said...

Anyone got bus instructions ?

rol said...

I think you can take any bus that go to section 14 PJ (they're mostly found near Bangkok Bank, if I'm not mistaken), stop there or anywhere near section 14, and walk a bit to get to the building.

Or catch a taxi from the Asia Jaya Putra LRT station, they'll most likely get you to the exact location. If you want to get a taxi on your way back, it's best that you walk to Jaya Supermarket, where there's a line of taxies queuing up for customers.

I might not be entirely right because I haven't been to the area in years. I'm recalling all this from memory.

bibliobibuli said...

ted - *gasp* did he??

rol - thanks, i have no idea about buses

starlight said...

sorry, sharon. ted is right. dickens did beat you to it. it's the opening line from A Tale of Two Cities. :) but look on the bright side. you're astute enough to know a gem when you see one!

sympozium said...

Come on, you guys. OF COURSE Sharon knew the line came from Dickens! She's being sarky that's all! :-)))))))))))

bibliobibuli said...

*ROTFLMAO* (as they say)

sarcastic? me??

Lydia Teh said...

Bib, sarcasm doesn't become you :)

Ted Mahsun said...

hehe... i caught the sarcasm at gasp... but I did wonder... cannot be Sharon doesn't know the line...

sympozium said...

ROTFLMAO??? What's this mean?

Tina said...


bibliobibuli said...

right! chatroom shorthand.

want more?

and i was laughing 'cos you guys are all so funny ... starlight and ted taking me seriously when i was winding them up, and sympozium leaping to my defense so valiantly ...


starlight said...

ah, my naivety has been cleverly unmasked yet again. :)

itchymicchi said...

i know this is late, but can i just say that a clear message is sent if one pokes around at the books being squashed under the boxes and baskets in a conspicuous manner? i've done that, and they're removed pretty quickly :D

Anonymous said...

I got something you guys would never want to read.. low fiction stuff :) but yeah I got the last book in SK's "The Dark Tower" series (that's what it was called Yvonne) and got to ogle some cute women (hey, what else are book sales good for :) ) -- also got Mark Twain, Alex Dumas, Jack London.. typical male reads.
Almost got The Invisible Man until I realized I could get it online :)

Hey the word verification is "yrwmhwt".. I guess I have to thank Blogspot now.