KL's Silverfish Books closes mall store to move into new neighbourhood home

A file image of Silverfish Books director Raman Krishan taken at the Bangsar Village II bookstore in May 2020. Photo: The Star/Low Lay Phon

Silverfish Books, a longstanding independent bookshop and publisher in Malaysia, has left its shopping mall store (Bangsar Village II) and found a new home at 63, Lorong Maarof in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

“It has been very quiet so far but we are confident that it will pick up soon. This is one of the older neighbourhoods in Bangsar and it would be nice to be a neighbourhood bookshop. We hope to build a literary community here with talks, book events and writing workshops,” says SIlverfish Books director Raman Krishnan.

Silverfish Books opened its doors at the shopping mall in KL in June 2015. It originally started out at a Sri Hartamas ground-floor store in 1999 and also called three upper-floor lots in Bangsar Baru, KL home later on.

Independent bookstore Silverfish Books has relocated to a neighbourhood area in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Silverfish BooksIndependent bookstore Silverfish Books has relocated to a neighbourhood area in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Silverfish Books

This latest move to a residential area returns Silverfish Books to its literary community roots.

Book lovers – young and old – now have the opportunity to rediscover this independent bookstore, which has helped to shape the Malaysian literary scene for over 20 years, outside the shopping mall environment.

“We have decided to move for two reasons. First, to cut costs. Our mall rental has become quite unaffordable. Our current retail revenue is not enough even to pay our rent. It was sustainable in the beginning, seven years ago.

"The current circumstance is not the fault of our landlord; they have been wonderfully reasonable and supportive throughout the years especially the bad times. But two years of the pandemic, movement control and lockdowns has decimated retail, particularly the entire book industry,” read a recent Silverfish Books Facebook post.

To introduce its new home to the masses, Silverfish Books is offering a series of promotions – walk-in customers get 20% off its available titles, and all resellers/librarians get 50% off selected Silverfish titles. The promotion ends Aug 15.

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