maki writes, shops and sings

telling a new story

an entry actually worth reading December 20, 2006

Filed under: Festive — maki ♥ squarepatch @ 6:40 pm

honestly some days we wonder why we have an online shop. we are the most tech UNsavvy people we ever know. we carry mobile phones for functionality’s sake. if they double up as a self-protection device, that will be swell. our mom has the latest Nokia gagdet and we’re always left with hand-me-downs. i for one cannot tell the difference between WAP and 3G. i can’t figure out how to configure our wireless home setup. i just learnt that MAC monitors allow CMYK while PCs in RGB only which is why graphic designers prefer MAC platforms most of the time. we haven’t even fully figured out our camera and i think we really need to play catch up with the world sometimes. and here we are, handmaking stuff. where are we at, in a time trap where people still chisel stones to make wheels? yea, we’ve pretty much asked ourselves that alot of times already.

i was in an idle mood on monday and decided to do some last minute christmas shopping which usually comes with some self-pampering too. decided to pop by Books Actually since they’ve been getting some pretty good coverage lately and i can see why. it’s a quaint little bookstore tucked away on the 2nd level of Telok Ayer St and the entrance welcomes you with its brand colors already. once you stepped in, you’re warmly greeted by the bookseller-boy and -girl duo, who are secretly smiling that you’re there. i ended up buying some out-of-print notepad, a sparrow book made by their lovely selves and another notepad. gah i’m a real sucker for cool papergoods! for some reason and after some long browsing and checking out terrific antiqued books that are not for sale (wah!), i decided to get some recommendation. plus it’s honestly rude to leave without buying a book! it’s like going to a wanton mee stall and asking for their nicely handpainted spoon or something as a souvenir. so even though i’m a total bookworm and ought to have read alot having a 5 year english literature background, i really ought to know what i like to read and sound totally intellectual at it. unfortunately i don’t. and i couldn’t care less looking dumb in front of the experts anyway so i asked Kenny for a recommendation, just telling him that i do fancy Marian Keye’s books and i totally adore Memoirs of a Geisha for their descriptive language and i like writers who can bring out/describe emotions and stuff very well. in short, i ended up buying George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant since i love short stories. i love it how the writers can bring out everything in a matter of a few pages.

to Kenny and Karen: thank you for your time 🙂 and to Kenny: i totally adore that short story Bookshop Memories. i like it how Orwell notices details and puts them in words so nicely. i dig that he notices how flies just love dying on the top of books and i dig how one of the book customer sounds like me – read and read but never remember authors and titles. i promise i’ll check out Nabokov when i’m done with this one. if there is a color to describe this book so far, it’s gotta be grey and not all the stories appeal to me but they can be rather thought-provoking.

i guess in a place like singapore, where we try to get bigger and better (eg Vivocity) and create things in mass (like multiple chains of local enterprises and the mass production of a single Mango dress in 100000000000000 duplicates), there are still the few of us who try to eek out a living and to live on our passion and pray hard that somebody will appreciate it all and help keep us alive.

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One Response to “an entry actually worth reading”

  1. tgkg Says:

    Orwell’s one of my favorite authors. His stories about colonial times are overshadowed by his 1984 and Animal Farm.

    Anyway, much as I like independent stores, I don’t think it is simply a matter of scale that ruins chain stores. True that small spaces like Magnolia Bakery insist on having only one store and small batch manual cupcake production, but Ben and Jerry’s remains quality despite expanding everywhere. H&M and Zara do pretty good jobs being fashion and not just bland apparel, as opposed to say, Gap. What if one day you become successful enough to start a chain? Would you still keep your production small? I would just keep quality and passion high, if that’s possible. I’m not talking about being Starbucks, but perhaps things like Moleskine and Lomo have kept their credentials somewhat even when become global and no longer niche.

    Those were just some thoughts for discussion, not saying anything against being indie. Congrats on your work, and keep going!


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