Saturday, January 17, 2009

Magazines and Bookstores

I have been a voracious reader all my life.

At the end of each year I have to make a decision whether to continue subscribing to my women's magazines which have gradually become ultra expensive. But then like a bad habit at the beginning of the year I will wait eagerly to receive the first edition of the new year! I really need that magazine fix!! I think I will have a bad cold turkey withdrawal syndrome if I have to stop subscribing to my women's magazines this year.

Today I have the opportunity to reflect on the several magazines which have helped me through thick and thin. Through good times and bad times. And perhaps I have to make an assessment on whether I should continue to subscribe or not as a pensioner. But then of course I can always read the magazine on-line. But it is not the same. Print media is still the way to go.

Woman's Day is a cheerful and sensible magazine. A magazine like this has been definitely helpful. In the early days of Siku women did not have counsellors and helpful centres to help them in any way. So women's magazines help them solve their problems in one way or another or to add to their knowledge.

The Ladies Home Journal is another helpful magazine which offers many features including topics on marriage and even lovely stories about pets and animals. It introduces me to new books and new ideas.

I get LHJ from a local bookstore where the girls recognise me over the years and at one time even the then manager of the bookstore would come out to greet his customers with a great smile. However as times become harder and harder and our society goes into recession customer service is probably going downhill or may be as a senior citizen I am not enjoying better service now. Or have I become more "difficult"? But I would rather think that I am a very gracious customer with good communication skills. (LOL) May be I am just an old timer who lives in another world of great old style

Good Housekeeping is a good companion for me. There are a lot of up to date articles and this is one magazine which helps me to think well. It provides a balanced view of the world. I am glad that I have been reading it all these years.

Actually I started my life as a "woman warrior" from the time I picked up my first issue of Woman and Home in Sibu when it was made available by the Rejang Bookstore.

The shortage of good English books and magazines could be due to many reasons - lack of readership and the dominance of mother tongues like Chinese and Malay. But personally I believe it is also the outlook and leadership of a society that determines what bookstores carry.

The Rejang Bookstore's owner is a Nanyang University graduate and he obviously had his leaning towards eastern culture and eastern books. In his endeavour to perpectuate the Chinese culture he does not necessarily carry many English books. However he did sell W and H for a long long time until he found it too expensive to bring it to his news stand. I stopped reading the magazine for a while but recently I manage to pick up one or two from here and there. It is a delight to read this magazine which has great values and articles with great common sense. I wish to think that it has impacted me in many ways as a thinking woman. Reading a magazine like W and H only brings Marshall Mcluhan's "the world is a global village" to ring more true today than in the 1960's. (McLuhan also prophesized the demise of the print media in his writing.)

Upon reflection I would like to say that a library and even a bookshop sales girl can help a child to enjoy reading for the rest of her life.

I would like to thank the first library teacher I had in my life Miss Rebecca Reyes who taught me how to locate books and appreciate books (she got us to "wrap" books with transparent plastic book covers in the school library for long hours!)

A proud business woman or man owner of a bookstore could just put a child off from a life or adventure and even happiness through books and magazines.

What a difference a person can make to a child! Here's a New Year toast to more Miss Rebecca Reyes in the world!

3 memories:

James Yong said...

As a fellow avid reader (albeit not so much of women's mags :-) and book lover, I couldn't agree more. At the start of another year, I always remember the words a wise old teacher told me at a new year long ago "Next year this time, you will be the same person you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read"

sarawakiana said...

Hi James
Nice of you to visit my blog. I do hope that future Sibu-ans will be blessed by more printed reading materials.
Harry Potter series has helped many children to love reading.
I tend that people who read more will make our world a better place.
Cheers to years of good reading!!

sarawakiana said...

Ooops...I like the quotation from your wise old teacher.
More cheers to good teachers.....(including Brother Columba - I attended one of his workshops and was very inspired.....)


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