Image credit: Gerakbudaya Penang
So yesterday we released a post on local indie publishers and bookstores you should follow.
Turns out, we missed many and there are more, as our readers point out!
So here it is, a second part to the first post, more local indie publishers and bookstores you got to follow and support.
Psst! As usual, click on their names to go to their websites!
Founded in 1998 by Chong Ton Sin (or more fondly known as Pak Chong) under GB Gerakbudaya Enterprise Sdn. Bhd., Gerakbudaya Bookstore is widely recognised as the preeminent local indie publisher and bookstore.
It is dedicated to the circulation of timely and important books that have the potential to generate informed discussions and fresh perspectives and insights, particularly on the Malaysian socio-cultural landscape.
For those who are interested in politics, history, art, culture, literature and everything else under the sun, its premise in Petaling Jaya is the place to be. It stocks an abundance of titles from various genres and languages to cater to all reading tastes. Furthermore, it also supplies books sourced from independent publishers in Singapore, Indonesia and the wider Southeast Asian region.
Meanwhile, its research imprint, the Strategic Information and Research Development Center (SIRD) focuses on publishing academic literature. It strives to make scholarly titles more accessible to the wider reading public by distributing academic publications in the humanities and social sciences.
Helmed by Leon Ngai and Wendy Chow, Bookalicious! is situated within The Summit Subang USJ and has plenty in store for its customers, from boxed sets to collectables like character figurines, posters and other literature-related merchandise.
Take your pick from a wide range of titles in popular literature, classics, local interests as well as non-fiction at reasonable prices. Tempted by its extensive variety but living too far away from the Subang area? No worries. Just make an online order through its Facebook page and your selected books will be delivered to your doorstep.
Interestingly, it stands out from other bookstores with its adorable mascot, Theodore (or Theo) the cow, accompanied by the equally lovable Mimi the dog. Theo and Mimi are featured on Bookalicious’s social media platforms – do drop by for a glimpse of cuteness (and for the books, of course)!
DuBooks Press is a publisher and bookstore with attitude, as implied by its tagline ‘Liar dan Angkuh’ (wild and proud). It currently operates from its physical bookstore in Bangi Sentral, Bandar Baru Bangi.
Its abbreviation, DBP is no coincidence. On its website, it cheekily reveals that its choice of the DBP abbreviation is a deliberate play on the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka, which has an identical abbreviation.
It specialises in Malay titles with an edgy vibe, hence some of its publications are slightly deviant in subject matter than the books often found in mainstream bookstores. Malay translations of notable works from international authors are also available, such as ‘Down and Out di London dan Paris’ (Down and Out in Paris and London), originally by George Orwell. Additionally, its imprint, DuBook Indo imports and distributes books published in Indonesia and publishes materials on Indonesia-related topics.
There are several branches of Jing-si (roughly translated from Chinese as ‘still thoughts’) Books and Café across the Klang Valley, yet they are united in their effort to provide city dwellers with a conducive environment to relax, unwind and read.
This chain of stores is not conventionally indie, but your patronage helps to support its operations as it is managed by the Tzu Chi Foundation, a Buddhist charity and humanitarian organisation.
Fun fact: the stores are staffed by Tzu Chi volunteers!
Each of its stores is steeped in a quiet, serene atmosphere and minimal décor, making it a welcoming, no-frills place for immersive reading. Feel free to bring along your own books, or if you’re feeling curious, browse through the selection of books on humanities, spirituality, health and lifestyle on offer.
Equipped with Wi-Fi connection, it is also an ideal place to work while sipping on a beverage or two. The drinks menu include a selection of coffees, hot and iced teas and other speciality beverages to complement your zen-like reading experience.
BACA is a quaint bookstore located in Temerloh, Pahang that offers an assortment of titles, comprising of rare, vintage books, classic and contemporary literature as well as books on philosophy, architecture and many more. It even has a dedicated manga section!
If you feel peckish while perusing a newfound read amongst BACA’s well-stocked shelves, feel free to order a light bite from its café, which serves cakes, tarts, pastries and other sweet treats. Now both your literary fix and dessert cravings can be satisfied at the same time!
It also organises arts and crafts events and workshops for the local community, with the most recent one being ‘DoodlyDo & Malaysian Stories’, a casual doodling session whereby all are welcome to exchange stories about the Malaysian everyday and meet new people while doodling for fun.
Established in 2013, this Kajang-based bookshop serves as a multi-purpose space to cater to the community in the surrounding areas of Kajang and Hulu Langat.
Besides offering novels, magazines, zines and alternative comics, it occasionally hosts open mic sessions, community gatherings and informal forums on various topics. It also doubles as a restaurant/café, serving substantial meals of rice, fish, meat and vegetable dishes, such as Nasi Campur and Ayam Masak Merah. The dishes of the day depend on a rotating menu which is displayed outside the shop and posted on its Facebook page, so check constantly for updates!
Just be sure not to leave any stains on the books!
Pelita Dhihin specialises in Islamic literature and works by Islamic scholars, yet it also offers a collection of titles in English on philosophy, history and general knowledge. Furthermore, it also stocks Malay translations of significant literature, such as ‘The Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin.
Apart from its established premise in Bandar Seri Putra, Kajang, it has recently opened another outlet at Petaling Jaya Seksyen 14. Or more conveniently, just visit its online bookstore, Kafilah Buku to browse through its comprehensive selection of literature!
Led by established writer Sharon Bakar (she’s the one in yellow!), Word Works focuses on publishing local titles. Amongst its publications are the ‘Readings from Readings’ anthologies, a series of compilations of original pieces composed and presented by emerging writers at the long-running Readings@Seksan sessions.
Pssst! Did you know one of our editors was also published by Sharon? He deserves a big kick on his thin brown backside for forgetting to include Sharon in our previous list. Check out Everything Abous Us, the recent inclusion to the “Readings from Readings” series.
For those who do not know, Readings@Seksan is basically a once in a month event held at the Seksan Gallery at Bangsar where budding writers and even seasoned authors get to go up on stage and read their written works for free! It’s a good place to practise stage fright and a great event to get to know other local writers.
Word Works also organises creative writing courses for aspiring writers and provides editing and proofreading services. And for her immense effort, Sharon deserves a great big hug.
And herein ends our list. If you still think we’ve missed a few more other local indie bookstores and publishers, comment below or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Who knows, we will write a third part!