March 11th, 2005

krazy koati

The people left it on the shelf

I didn't expect the trip to the bookstore to take three hours, but in my defense I did a lot of browsing and got lunch too. Kinokuniya is a Japanese bookstore chain of actually infinite floor space, with its Singapore flagship store somehow tucked into under one Orchard Road block. A few walkway arteries make it not too hard to navigate, and fewer than 28 people annually are lost in the German Magazines section and starve to death before reaching the safe haven of the Model Railroad section. Despite this I never find science fiction books I want to read, probably because my tastes fossilized on the era when vacuum tubes were all the rage.

I signed up for the new Privilege Club, which the more the clerk explained the less I understood. The important points (I think) are that it's (1) a ten-percent discount on all purchases (even in the café), except (2) it sometimes becomes a twenty-percent discount, except (3) it doesn't apply to government books, nor to free newspapers (how do they tell?) nor 8 Days (an entertainment magazine), and (4) it costs S$21.00 per year. Since I buy more than S$210 per year -- sometimes per month -- that's a fine deal, but I wonder what cost-benefit analysis showed S$20 was fiscal insanity. While you can buy books by credit or debit card, they take only cash or cheques (I've never seen a cheque here) for the Privilege Club fee.

Trivia: In its first year of operations the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics was budgeted US$5000. It spent $3,938.94. Source: Life Science Library: Man And Space, Arthur C Clarke. By the way it's 50 years and a couple days since the debut of Disney's Tomorrowland: Man In Space series, so get your DVDs out and let's watch together, shall we?

Currently Reading: The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution, 1926-1930, Scott Eyman.