Skip to main content

Those that have lived in KL long enough are probably familiar with Skoob Books, but being a relatively fresh expatriate, I only heard about it here.

My husband drove me down to the shop, which is not very close to where I live…sigh…and I discovered a perfect treasure trove of books. I went there to buy books on sale, but ended up buying quite a lot which were not. Even then, I spent a total of 690 RM (about 180 usd) on 6o books.

And what books: I got hardcovers by Isabelle Allende, Margaret Atwood, Nadine Gordimer, Ali Smith, Sigmund Freud, Italo Calvino, a bunch of books on my research and a few books in Italian besides. All secondhand of course, but in perfectly good condition.

I usually have to struggle with finding good books secondhand, but those who know the bookshop owner would know why a majority of the books have oodles of taste: he was the editor of a major English newspaper in Malaysia for over a decade, besides teaching English Literature/Theatre and so on.

I have to go back again and again, because now I know one place to find rare books in Malaysia, and also because I left behind a lot of books that I would rather have brought home with me. Most of the books I bought will make terrific reading, I’m sure of that.

My biggest deterrent was space, because I live in an apartment, and there is so much I can cram into existing bookshelves and cupboards. I still have to figure out space for the books I’ve bought. But in the meanwhile, they lie strewn on the divan beside my writing desk, and every writing break is spent dipping into one book or the other.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Damyanti says:

    I’m happy I found it too, Sarah! You wouldn’t have space for sure, cos your home is exactly the same size s mine (lol, we really have so many matches!), and yesterday I sweat for half an hour making place for all the books!

  • Sarah Jensen says:

    LOL, I live in a 2500 sq. ft. home, and can’t find room for all my books. 🙂
    So glad you found the bookstore!

  • Damyanti says:

    I know Sharon, that is what I tell myself too, I don’t need more books, I must finish reading the ones I have first.

    But I find I always really need books, can’t keep my hands off them. I’m now reading Nadine Gordimer’s “The Conservationist”, and I love it!

  • bibliobibuli says:

    really glad you found it! i love the place but havent’ been for a long time as the last thing in the universe i need is more books.