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You know that feeling when you walk into a bookstore, and suddenly, the whole world fades away? As a bibliophile, I find solace in the aisles of bookstores, where each visit is akin to embarking on a new adventure.

So, when news broke that MPH bookstore was unveiling its flagship store at The Exchange TRX, my anticipation soared, reminiscent of the excitement I felt as a child entering my favourite bookstore.

Stepping into MPH’s new spot, I was greeted by a sight that transcended my expectations. It was nothing like the other MPH stores I’d been to.

Unveiling the literary oasis

It was spacious, ambience soft with natural light, and meticulously organised with a Muji-style minimalist flair. The fusion of warm wood tones and bronze accents evoked a sense of luxury, inviting patrons to immerse themselves in the literary treasures.

According to MPH chief executive officer Martin Cross, the interior design was inspired by the grandeur of ancient knowledge centres like the Great Library of Alexandria.

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From organised bookshelves to the intricate murals over the cashier counter, every element of the space exuded a sense of reverence for the written word. Martin’s vision of creating a modern-day sanctuary for book lovers had truly come to fruition.

Spanning an impressive 21,000 square feet on the second level of the mall, the flagship store boasts versatile event spaces, perfect for book launches, author meet-and-greets, and workshops.

“These dynamic spaces were designed to foster a sense of community and learning, echoing the spirit of the ancient tradition of night schools,” Martin said.

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Their layout of bookshelves is definitely a book lover’s dream come true. With shelves stretching as far as the eye can see, you can find everything that you need without the help of staff.

But if you do find yourself a little lost, the friendly staff are ready to help.

I saw non-fiction and fiction books of diverse genres, and even magazines and kids’ workbooks. Other than that, stationery lovers will also enjoy the corner in the bookstore that features art and craft items from local artists.

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However, you might find their selection of stationery, gift items, and board games to be a tad limited compared to other stores.

They also have a dedicated kids’ section, built like a mini paradise for little bookworms in training.

But here’s the kicker—there are very limited seating areas. There are only three nooks in the kids’ section in the overall place. Speaking to Vulcan Post, Martin said they’re still working on it. So, fingers crossed for more comfy spots to curl up with a good book soon.

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According to him, while other bookstores might be closing up shop or pivoting to more experiential-based stores, MPH is doubling down on its commitment to bringing book lovers together. 

Part of this streamlined goal means that this new store doesn’t have a cafe either, which is something that has become a common offering in modern bookstores.

A vision for a community hub

Meanwhile, Martin shared insights into MPH’s future plans, including the rollout of a similar concept store by the end of this year. It became clear that their vision extended beyond mere book sales. 

They aspire to become the leading bookstore in Malaysia by embracing innovation while staying true to their core ethos.

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Though staying within the realm of books, MPH’s goal is still a lofty one. It wants to be a community hub, a learning centre, and a haven for book lovers everywhere.

If pulled off successfully, they could achieve their ambition of being the go-to destination for all things bookish in Malaysia.

  • Learn more about MPH bookstore here.
  • Read other review articles we’ve written here.

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

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