Last week, I dragged Asna to Kinokuniya. Our mission for the day: to shop for books. The place where I work collaborates with major bookstores, allowing me to buy books at a discounted price, twice a year. I always use this opportunity to stock up on new books for everyone.
We began our hunt as soon as we stepped inside our favorite bookstore.
“How much can I buy?” she asked.
“Up to RM80.”
She knows very well that when she shops with me, there’s always a spending cap hehe.
The first books she saw when she entered the shop were the Minecraft handbooks, just behind the counter. She bought her first Minecraft handbook early this year. Months have passed — you’d think she would’ve gotten over it, but she still passionately talks about the game… even when no one’s really listening. Being a die-hard Minecraft fan, she wished she could bring all of the books home. Asna is pretty compliant, though. She’s aware of the spending cap I’d set for her and picked only one.
Before we went to the bookstore I told her that we need to get books in Malay, too, this time, so that she could slowly master BM. She agreed. So we went to the Malay section. I was surprised to learn that the book selection was super limited — there were only a few shelves of Malay books!
She picked three books from the Young Aisyah series (a series of short BM storybooks she had just discovered at school). I skimmed through one of the books and saw some words that were in it. Deliberately tested Asna:
“Do you know what ‘berkelahi’ is?”
“When you read these books, please make sure you ask Mama or Babah what it means when you don’t know, OK?”
After that she sat down on the floor to read the books, while I was checking out books from the business section.
About half an hour later, we were ready to pay at the cashier.
Just before that… I led her to the section for kids. I picked a random book from Enid Blyton (safe choice!) called the Naughtiest Girl in School (IDK the title sounded like fun!) and told her to read it, too.
We shopped at the mall for a little more after that and went home, happily carrying out heavy shopping bags, at one point dragging them on the floor to the carpark, not giving a care.
When we reached home she read the books… when she’s not playing Pokemon, that is and it seemed as if she was forever playing Pokemon. About three days after we bought the books, I asked her what books she’d finished reading.
“I read all.”
“All?” I didn’t believe her.
“Yes,” she said, firm.
I took the 209-page Enid Blyton book and went through the pages. To check whether she’d really read the book, I asked her to brief me about “the naughtiest girl in school” and as I flipped the pages, asked her to explain the characters that I came across in the book. She could answer my every query, seamlessly.
Then I noticed… she’s always reading a new book (if she’s not playing the computer) and she does it fast — I wonder how many books she’s actually read this year! That’s one reason why her vocabulary has expanded so much lately.
To be frank, I’m slightly embarrassed because it takes me so long to finish a book these days. I have a stack of books read halfway and I see this as a wakeup call for me to read and learn as much as I did before. Because of this, I pledge to carry a book with me whenever I go out, once more.