Former Gardens rooftop bar turned into rare bookworm haven

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 April 2023:

With its avowed mission to help boost English literacy among Malaysians, BooXcess has converted two former bar-restaurants at the Gardens Mall rooftop area on the 6th floor into bookstores catering for both the young and not-so-young.

Actively reversing the depressing trend of disappearing bookstores, this retail chain leverages on the business model of its better-known sister company – Big Bad Wolf – to offer very affordably-priced paperbacks and hardbacks for new and avid readers.

Publishing director Martin Cross revealed the secret to being able to offer novels from as low as RM10.90, and averaging RM15.90 to RM19.90 – when paperbacks at most other bookstores can easily cost double or triple that amount – is by taking advantage of warehousing volume discounts.

Because BookXcess also has an online ordering platform, cross-retailing makes it very viable for the firm to have 20 stores at major shopping malls in the Klang Valley plus Kong Heng Square Ipoh, Gurney Paragon Penang and Sunway Big Box Johor.

The Gardens Mall outlet at Mid Valley is unique as the rooftop premises are split into two pavilions – with one exclusively for the younger set to browse play and read freely under the guidance of parents and guardians.

This children’s area features picture books as introductions, followed by text with images for read-alongs and progresses to easy-read age-appropriate books. Apart from the overhead walkway connecting the sprawling spread of books, there’s also a dedicated toddler’s area and also activity zones.

For this long Mayday weekend, the children’s pavilion is a hub of extra-entertaining activities – providing more reason to hang out at the Gardens Mall at the tail end of the current school break.

The pavilion meant for the older set has the full range of books plus a cafe to chill out at as an oasis with spectacular views of the capital city skyline. Overall, the two pavilions have around 100,000 books and counting – reason enough to keep visiting this BookXcess outlet at every opportunity.