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I like to buy books in every language I can when I travel so I'd like to pick up some literature in Malaysian.

Yesterday I found an enormous Kinokuniya bookshop but was puzzled to find it sold books only in English, Chinese, and japanese - if they have a Malaysian section I didn't find it!

Is there another big bookshop that covers the Malaysian publishing market? Or does everybody in Malaysia do their reading in other languages? Or is there maybe something like a secondhand book market or a part of town with lots of little bookshops?

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Nit regarding this question and all answers so far: the national language of Malaysia is Malay, not "Malaysian". –  jpatokal Aug 4 '13 at 11:27
@jpatokal: Well I don't know if it has an official English name. I read that the official native name went back from Bahasa Malaysia to Bahasa Melayu so who knows? (-; –  hippietrail Aug 4 '13 at 11:38

2 Answers 2

Kinokuniya (I think in KLCC but it might have been Pavilion Mall on Bukit Bintang) has books in Malaysian.

In Utama Mall (aka 1 Utama) there is a bookstore named "Popular". It has books in Malaysian too. It seemed a bit larger than Kinokuniya.

The language of higher learning in Malaysia is English, it's required in the public schools and unites the three cultures. Consequently, it's easier to find books in English than in Malaysian or Tamil.

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I was in the Kinokuniya in the KLCC and couldn't find the Malaysian section. I might have to check the other branch. –  hippietrail Aug 3 '13 at 8:09
Not sure if there was one in Pavillion Mall. I was looking for, and found, kids books in Malaysian where I was at. Both books I bought are translations of English books and the company that did it is INSTITUT TERJEMAHAN NEGARA MALAYSIA BERHAD (itbm.com.my). The website has a catalog and a phone number. They could probably direct you to a reseller. –  Will Aug 3 '13 at 8:20

The range of books available in the Malaysian language is quite restricted. Probably because people wanting to read beyond a certain level can and do read in a word language such as English or Chinese.

Books in Malaysian seem to fall into categories such as Religion, Children's, language study, local paperbacks, etc.

I was actually looking for world literature in Malaysian translation. I'm sure there's some of this in existence, but it must be very little since I did not see a single world author in Malaysian translation in any bookshop. I did see plenty of them in English.

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