PETALING JAYA: Outside of home, school or the library, looking for a quiet corner to read is a difficult task, more so if it’s at a shopping mall.

But to indulge bookworms and keep the love of books alive, two malls in the Klang Valley, the Paradigm Mall here and Subang Parade in Subang Jaya, have introduced facilities that give readers a quiet place to dive into their favourite reads.

In conjunction with World Book Day recently, theSun visited the two malls to get a feel of what it is like to spend some time to read while in a busy shopping centre. Both seem conducive for reading despite being located where they are.

A spokesman for Paradigm Mall told theSun that the initiative was to enable patrons to spend quality time while they take a break from shopping.

“Ours is a neighbourhood community mall, and this is part of our corporate social responsibility programme,” the spokesman said.

“This is also a value-added service for our patrons. We hope to instil the reading culture among patrons by also providing a variety of books,” he said.

Patrons are also encouraged to donate old books rather than discard them. “This is also for the benefit of others,” he added.

The spokesman said given that most of the books are donated by patrons, there is no specific genre. “We have everything from fiction to non-fiction, books on cooking and even travel books,” he said.

Books on the Move - a non-profit movement that inspires reading in the community - as well as book retailers Grolier and BookXcess have also chipped in.

In 2019, Books on the Move installed the display shelves, and the year before Grolier came in with educational children’s books such as encyclopaedias.

This year, BookXcess donated nine cartons of children’s books.

The spokesman said the response from members of the public has been encouraging. “Families with children as well as teens have been spending time in the reading room,” he said.

To ensure the standard operating procedures (SOP) are properly observed in the current Covid-19 crisis, only eight persons are allowed in at any one time. Those who wish to use the reading room are required to scan the MySejahtera QR code.

The room is also regularly sanitised and cleaned by the housekeeping department of the mall and security personnel keep an eye out for those who flout the SOP.

The spokesman said that while there is only one reading room now, there are plans to expand the initiative in the future.

At Subang Parade, book lovers can gather at a reading corner on the first floor of the East End Concourse to immerse themselves in their favourite novels.

Just like the Paradigm Mall, books here are largely donated by patrons.

Subang Parade assistant marketing manager Chan Wai Yee said only five to eight individuals are allowed into the reading corner now in compliance with the SOP to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Despite the minor setback, Chan told theSun, the response from patrons has been good.

The reading corner has, in fact, become a favourite haunt for the older generation, particularly those in their forties to sixties.

Most of the books are action or adventure based or family oriented.

Chan said the fact that the books are donated by patrons accounted for the wide selection or genres.