While browsing through the books at the DBKU (Kuching North City Commission) Public Library in Kuching recently, I could not believe my eyes. There it was – a book entitled “Gone with the Wind”.
It is a famous novel by American writer, Margaret Mitchell and was the top American fiction besteller in 1936 and 1937.
It is about the story of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who has to use every means at her disposal to get out of poverty.
Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the book in 1937. The book was later adapted into a 1939 American epic historical romance film starring American actors/actresses, Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland.
Immensely popular when it was first released, “Gone with the Wind” became the highest-earning film up to that point in time and is still considered the most successful film in box-office history.
It was re-released periodically throughout the 20th century and there must have been a rerun of the film in the local cinema or on the television while I was in high school. Otherwise, why do I still remember parts of the movie so vividly?
At the DBKU Library recently, I picked up the book, flipped through it and was tempted to borrow it.
In the end, I decided not to borrow it. Why? The print was too tiny for me. I only have time to read deep in the night. The novel was also too lengthy.
Mind you, age has nothing to do with my preference for big prints. Looking back, I have never read books with very small prints because I am short sighted and hate to wear even thicker glasses.
The DBKU Library is a good library. I consider myself very fortunate to be its member.
As a member, I can borrow not just one book but five books at any one time with just one card.
Five books! That’s a lot of books to read before the due date for returning them.
The day I went to the DBKU Library was a lucky day for me. There were so many good books lying on the shelves. Many books had very interesting titles, too.
But when I flipped through some of them, I was again put off by the small prints.
If you are an author or writer, may I remind you to use bigger type faces for your books?
I can understand why some authors or writers use small prints. It is to limit the number of pages of their books so that they don’t have to pay more for the printing costs. If they print more pages, they may have to pay more. But perhaps they should try to use bigger prints and condense their stories to a limited number of pages. Then more people will read their books.
I love South Korean dramas because they are usually limited to 16 episodes.
I have tried to watch Chinese dramas made in China in the hope of improving my command of Mandarin but I find most of them are quite lengthy. Could this be the fault of the script writers who cannot condense their stories to fewer chapters?
When I returned the previous five books I borrowed from the DBKU Library recently, I had to pay a fine of almost RM10 because they were long overdue.
The kind librarian who served me pointed out that I could have renewed all the books by calling the library.
“Then we can give you two more weeks,” he told me. I told him that I had forgotten when the books were due.
“I think I better take a snapshot of the piece of paper containing the due date and the list of the books I borrow with my handphone,” I said to him after he registered the new books I borrowed.
“It is easier for me to check the due date on my handphone. I am absent-minded. I may misplace the paper again,” I added.
I promptly took a snapshot of the paper with my handphone.
Thank God for the handphone! Thank you to the inventor of the handphone. You have made my life so much easier!
Thank you to DBKU, too, for the lovely books on your shelves!