I AM LEJEN is a boutique bookstore that sells novels written by our very own Malaysian writers, alongside I AM LEJEN mugs, t-shirts, hoodies and retro football jerseys. Just opposite of Gold Chilli in SS15, its eye-catching signboard will make you pause and muse…
“What the hell kind of shop name is that?”
I met Hafiz the shopkeeper, who proceeded to give me a tour of the shop and a few brief explanations on what the bestsellers were about. We then sat on the cushy beanbags provided, and chatted about our lives in university.
Hafiz was a really friendly host, and treated I AM LEJEN as though it was a hidden gem in the student centre of SS15. We talked about the bookstore and all that it offered, from Malay poetry to translated English blockbuster novels such as The Fault In Our Stars. While this was happening, a television hanging above the cashier’s head was playing a live theatre act of a local bestselling novel called Awek Chuck Taylors. Here’s a short sinopsis from Goodreads:
Mengisahkan kisah seorang mamat bernama Hafiz, yang bertemu dengan seorang gadis hipster anarkis yang bernama Mira. Pertemuan ini mencetuskan beberapa ledakan aneurysm kepada korteks serebrum – serta perhubungan dengan adik beradik Mira – Aiman dan Nana – yang menjadi semakin akrab. Dan keakraban itu mencetuskan satu lagi cinta tiga segi Illuminati antara Hafiz dan adik beradik – Mira dan Nana.
I bought two books: Love in Penang, and Lost in Putrajaya (UPDATE: so far REALLY good!). Flipped one of the books and saw ‘Timothy Nakayama’ written in the list of authors. Tim’s a great friend of mine whom I had met during my Toastmasters days. Always a person who cuts through the noise (in speech evaluations), and does it so coolly. The same applies to his speeches. In essence, he’s a chaser of his own dreams. You don’t find many people like him nowadays.
At lunch, I made a new friend. His name is Theeban. Being 6 ft 4, muscular and friendly, you know he would make a great bouncer; but what really impressed me is that he recently started reading books; books about history; books that a minute fraction of Malaysians enjoy reading; books recommended by his girlfriend. What a gentleman!