Blog Archive

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Launch of, The Penang Bookshelf's Website for Customers in Malaysia

The Penang Bookshelf's
Website for
Customers in Malaysia

Although The Penang Bookshelf was established mainly to provide books about Malaysia to customers in Malaysia, once we hit the internet in November 2010, we built up an overseas clientele as well. Until now our main website  has been in USD. That just happened to be the easiest package for setting up an online store that we could find. It was linked to our store at Malaysian eBay where the currency is Ringgit. That's been doing well. The Penang Bookshelf is an eBay 'Power Seller' whatever that means. However it's been unsatisfactory because potential customers had to sign up to eBay and often grapple with the complexities of PayPal, eBay's preferred payment mechanism.

In fact, most of The Penang Bookshelf's Malaysia based customers would see an item on our main website and contact us direct to buy the books. All this seemed crazy since our operating currency is and has always been ringgit. A search for a website mechansim that would offer customers a choice of currencies for payment has been long and arduous. We reached a dead end. So it seems that probably the best choice was to set up a mirror site in ringgit. That's how was born. (How the name came about is a long story that's best left to another time.)

So now, at last, The Penang Bookshelf's Malaysia based customers have a website where they will be able to make payments through banks in Malaysia and see the book prices in a currency that's easier to deal with. At the time of writing about half of The Penang Bookshelf's advertised stock is up online and the rest should be there by the end of March.

As usual, if you have any problems, want to suggest any improvements or get in touch for any other reason, please contact William Knox by email or by phone on 012-972-6485

Monday, 11 March 2013

Malayan Spymaster Event in Penang!

Malayan Spymaster Event 
Thursday 14th March - 10am-12noon

One of The Penang Bookshelf's bestsellers over the last year or so has been Malayan Spymaster by John Hembry. The book was originally written for the author's grandchildren to let them know what his life in Malaya was like, but after his death his family thought others may also be interested in his memoirs. Since the book was published in 2011 by Monsoon Books of Singapore, the book has sold so well that it was reprinted at the end of last year.

Hembry was principally a planter who became caught up in first trying to defend British interests in Malaya firstly against the Japanese and then again after World War II in what came to be known as 'The Malayan Emergency.' As The Penang Bookshelf's review of the book  indicates, Hembry was very much a man of his times, efficient at getting his job done with a colonial mindset in a colonial environment. However, even with the benefit of hindsight his life was eventful and significant, contributing in many ways to Malaysia as it is today.

His son, John Hembry, who features in the book, is visiting Penang at the moment and will be leading a discussion about the events described by the book and obstacles, from the British intelligence services among others, in having the book published. 

The event will be held at The Ferrighi Garden Restaurant on Thursday 14th March from 10am to 12noon. All are welcome, but please book a place with Michelle Grimsley of Spiral Synergy, the event organisers, by email or by phoning her on 016-457-0221 since tea and coffee and light refreshments will be provided at a charge of RM35.

The Penang Bookshelf will be on hand to sell copies of the book at a reduced price of  RM35, when the book is bought on its own, or RM30, when the book is bought with another one of Monsoon's books, which will also be on sale at the event. The Penang Bookshelf will also be selling copies of one of Monsoon's latest books, Amber Road by Boyd Anderson at the normal retail price of RM45
at the event.