Mari At Work · thinking out loud

Kinokuniya is 15!

Or, well, it would be on April 1st, but this year we’re beginning our Anniversary Promotion on March 25th.

Years after my first day at Kinokuniya, I still wonder why our store’s birthday is on April Fools. Anyway, it’s been – or will be – 15 years since Kinokuniya moved to the 4th floor of KLCC. Before that, we were a much smaller store on the 2nd floor (back when I was fifteen), and before THAT, we were an even smaller, Japanese-books only store in Sogo.

The Kinokuniya I remembered from high school had only a few shelves of English books – our current YA section alone is so much bigger than the entire English books section back then. Even so, it still offered me titles that I wouldn’t find at MPH or Times, the two other chains I frequented. After school, if I wasn’t playing hangman with my friends at our Debate & Drama club meetings I would either be at Mos Burger working on zines, at Pasar Seni hunting for used books, or at Kinokuniya. In college, my weekend trips to KL were almost always to the bookstore. And when I was looking for a part-time job to save for a study-trip to Japan, I looked to Kinokuniya.

What was supposed to be a temporary thing, turned out to be the only thing I could truly commit to. Upon my return from Japan, I went straight back to the store, and continued working part-time through my Bachelors, and then my Masters. It made me realise that there was little that I wanted more than to be a book buyer, so I applied for that job – and started out with SFF, slowly adding so many other categories I loved under my portfolio.

This post wasn’t really supposed to be about me, but I guess this store, and what I do for it, means a lot to me, so I can’t truly appreciate it without thinking about all the years I’ve spent here as a customer and employee.

Anyway, every year our buyers select a number of recent titles to feature in our anniversary booklet – titles we enjoy and/or want to highlight. These are the children’s and YA titles for 2016 (the picture books were selected by Kit):

A hungry lion A Tyranny of Petticoats Bluescreen Girl From Everywhere Hello Goodbye
Last Monster Lifeboat Clique Love That Split the World Maybe A Fox night gardener
Night Parade parachute Ravenous Roller girl Seven Ways We Lie
shhh im sleeping Thats my hat We Are the Ants Wink Poppy Midnight you look yummy

And these, my selections for SF/F:

A Gathering of Shadows Boy and the Beast Falling In Love With Hominids Forest of Memory
Paper Menagerie United States of Japan Winged Histories

I’m not including my Poetry/Comics selections, but they – together with all the other titles – are in our April catalogue, along with a Q&A I did with Ken Liu!


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