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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

On Reading At The Kuala Lumpur Library

The Perpustakaan Kuala Lumpur which is located at No. 1, Jalan Raja, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, is open from Monday to Sunday. Membership is only RM16 per year, and renewal is RM10 per subsequent year. On Mondays, they open at 2 in the afternoon, and close at 6.45 in the evening. From Tuesdays to Fridays, the library opens at 10 in the morning, and closes at 6.45 in the evening. On Saturdays and Sundays, the library opens at 10 in the morning and closes at 5 in the evening. The exception is the first Saturday and Sunday of the month, whereupon they will be closed for the staff to take the weekend off.

Enquiries may be directed to the library at (+6) 03-26123500, or via e-mail at

Reaching the library is easiest from the Masjid Jamek LRT station, from which one may take a leisurely stroll to the Dataran Merdeka, and reach the grounds of the library with ease. Another equally convenient location is the Pasar Seni LRT station, from which one may take a stroll through the sights and sounds of the Central Market. One may pass by the Bar Council, depending on one's route, en route to the library.

Reading books at the library is a leisure that is at once rewarding intellectually and also a necessity in the age of "always online". A professional's life in the city is demanding, and it is very often the case that one cannot get away from the demands of work, even when out of the office. The telephones today are equipped with Internet access. The only excuses that anyone alive may offer, convincingly, is that (a) the telephone ran out of battery; or (b) there was no telephone coverage.

How does going to the library make one more frugal? The answer is threefold. First, by allowing access to books, the desire to buy new paperbacks (which may be regretted, on discovering that the purchase is full of fluff) can be quelled. The discerning reader can, with his library membership, access books that he should cherish. Second, by having access to a library, a reader can reduce the inventory in his house. Since the books reside in the library, they are not taking up space in his house. This means that the house is tidier and cleaner. The air is less stifling. (There are people who desire houses full of books, with stifling air. They are either book lovers or people who merely seek to impress others with the collections of books.) The third, by going to the library, a person is occupying his time productively. This means that the time spent in the library, and in reading the books (after going to the library), is time that is not spent lingering in shopping malls and opening up one's self to temptation.

The benefits of the library are aplenty, and indeed a library can shape a child's young mind positively. A child that grows up thinking that books are friends, is one that will be at ease reading heavy tomes in the future. It does not mean that he will be forfeited of a healthy involvement in sports, however -- that depends on his elders, and how they inculcate an equally strong love in the child for sports. It is universally acknowledged nowadays that both sports and intellectual pursuits are equally important and required for the upbringing of the child. It used to be said, "Spare the rod and spoil the child." Today it would not be untrue to say, "Spare the library and spoil the child."

Of course, in today's world, not everybody is able to make that physical trip to the library. Yes, the Kuala Lumpur Library does have late closing hours -- 6.45 pm, in anybody's book, is a late hour. Even if you have to work until 9 or 10 in the evening, that should not stop you from taking some time to visit the library and borrow a scintillating book or two. On the off-chance that you really have no time at all, or it is impossible to visit the library (for example, you reside in another district, or another country, or another world altogether), you may like to consider reading classic works at the Project Gutenberg archive. But these are usually works in the public domain -- not that there's anything wrong with reading "the classics". Its just that more recent books are usually to be found in a physical library.