On Saturday, August 1, 2015, I went to the JakBook & Edu Fair 2015. This event was held from July 27 to August 3, 2015, at Plaza Parkir Timur Senayan, South Jakarta. Despite the controversy, I was looking forward to explore the book fair and possibly get some good deals of interesting books.
Before the event started, Jakarta’s Governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (also known as Ahok) promoted this event enthusiastically, as the excellent way for the Jakarta people to afford more educational books and study tools. However, apparently he was very upset and disappointed when he found out that the books sold there are more expensive than the ones sold at Jakarta’s famous wholesale market centres such as Tanah Abang and Asemka. After he found out such thing, he even encouraged the Jakarta people not to shop at the book fair, and shop at Tanah Abang or Asemka instead. So as the online news’ headlines said. Later I found out that he was inspecting *note* books, which was probably indeed more expensive than the ones sold at Tanah Abang. However, I regret that Ahok encouraged people not to shop at JakBook just because of those note books. I was certain that there would be a lot of interesting books *to be read* with nice bargain price there. I mean, those books *to be read* seller were also put at risk of losing potential customers because of Ahok’s reaction to his *note* book sellers inspection! I do admire Ahok for his straightforward, fair and (apparently) transparent actions as a governor, but this time I was disappointed by his careless statement.
Anyway, so I went to the book fair with my boyfriend on Saturday. I left my written wishlist at home, but I still had some author’s names to equip on “the book radar” in my mind. I was expecting that I would be able to complete Nh. Dini’s memoir series and get some Indonesian edition of books by Astrid Lindgren and Pearl S. Buck that are already rare nowadays. I struggled to resist the strong temptation to buy books online for this day. Unfortunately, turned out that the book fair was 50% school necessities such as school backpacks; shoes; socks; uniforms; and those note books that triggered Ahok’s wrath. While the rest (50%) were real books to read, a lot of them were religious; motivational; and lesson books. The fictions and historical books probably only took 5-15% of everything sold at the book fair. To sum this up, it was disappointing. The “Edu” part of the event’s name may be something to watch out, but at my defense I thought “Edu” means more about educational books to read.
Nevertheless, I still bought a lot of books at good to excellent deal! In total, I bought 8 books.. *laughs* Imagine if that was a legit book fair with at least 85-90% books to read. The 8 books are:1. Casper the Commuting Cat by Susan Finden
2. The Secret History of The Lord of Musashi and Arrowroot by Junichiro Tanizaki
3. Big Breasts and Wide Hips by Mo Yan
4. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
5. Neuromancer by William Gibson
6. Emma by Jane Austen
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
8. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
Some sci-fi gems found at the used books seller, published in the 1980s. They were Rp90,000,- (approx. US$7) in total.
These books’ discount were only 20%, but anyway.. Now I have more books for Austen in August. Considering the future event reports planned to be posted here, this also means that I may will post twice a week in two or three upcoming August weeks.
I only spent approximately less than an hour at the dissapointing book fair. I went to Plaza Senayan afterwards to eat at Yoshinoya and check Kinokuniya and Periplus out. Log Horizon’s 2nd light novel was already released in English, so I had a little hope of finding it at any of those bookstores. Turned out that I did not find it. I guess I will buy it at Periplus Online sometime later. Anyway, I still bought one book: Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. There were some other books that got caught on my radar, but one had to choose and I have bought a lot at the book fair anyway.
So in total, I bought 9 books last Saturday. I still long for those Astrid Lindren and Pearl S. Bucks’ books though. There is another book fair coming in September, Indonesia International Book Fair 2015. I am looking forward to that book fair as well, and I hope it will be legit book fair with many more of books to look forward to!