Books relief for tax

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

Ok, I admit it - I haven't filed my taxes yet. And there's only a few days left! (Panic!) But at least I got my book purchase receipts in one place. You probably already know that we are entitled for relief of maximum RM1000 per person for purchase of books and magazines. I think this is a very good initiative by the Malaysian government and should be continued, because I do know of people who buy more books (than what they would otherwise do) because of the relief.

The net ringgit value depends on your tax bracket. If you are in the highest bracket, say, which is 26%, you would be paying RM260 less if you manage to get RM1000 worth of receipts. Put in another way, you bought RM1000 worth of books at the price of RM740! So, a simple tip is, if you and your spouse are filing your taxes separately, and the amount of books you both purchased didn't reach RM2000, make sure the maximum amount (RM1000) is reported by the the one with the higher bracket.

Sometimes, when a book seller (from a specific group which I would not mention) come to my office and set up their booth at the lobby, they would put in big words there: "Eligible for tax relief!" How annoying! As if the tax relief is only limited to selected books only.

Anyway, here's the e-filing and LHDN links for your reference.


World Book Day

>> Friday, April 23, 2010

It's World Book Day today! I haven't had much time to scour the net to see what's happening today, except for this news on RM1000 worth of books for 1000 schools.

Book Xcess is having a World Book Day sale from 21 - 25 April (for selected books). PTS is giving away 30% for all books (wow!) via Bookcafe, unfortunately it's only for today. So, hurry! What a pity I just got to know this. I wish I have more time to select which books I want to buy.

I haven't thought about how I will celebrate World Book Day. What I know is, tonight, I will be reading a few pages each of the books I'm currently reading, which are Wang, Anda dan Islam by Zaharuddin Abd Rahman and Dark Alchemy, a collection of short stories of the fantasy genre.


The Time Traveller’s Wife

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010

This book is an absolute must-read! I was hooked from the first chapter. The Time Traveller’s Wife was written by Audrey Niffenegger. The story revolves around Henry who could time travel (albeit involuntarily - he had no control) and his relationship with his wife Clare, and their attempt to lead a normal life. Clare first met Henry when she was 6 and Henry was 36. Henry first met Clare when he was 28 and Clare was 20. The main premise promises this to be an interesting story - when one can time-travel, the boundary between cause and effect, between what has already happened or not, between what one knows or not, becomes blurred. Examples of new context of the word when that I found amusing: ‘I wake up and I find that he’s gone. He must be elsewhen.’ And ‘When are you from?’ A warning, this book contains illicit scenes that deems it suitable only for mature readers.

Another interesting bit about this book is, because it’s written in a first-person view for both Henry and Clare, at different ages, the author has taken care to write in a such a way as to show how a 6-year old or 12-year old Clare sees things differently compared to say a more grown-up Clare. I’ve always find it interesting (I think I use the word interesting too many times) with this method of writing. Two other good examples are The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw where the story is told from 3 perspectives, and hence the narrative style differs in the three distinct chapters. The other book is Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, where the protaganist undergo scientific experiments that altered his brain and mind, and this is illustrated indirectly in the first-person narration.

One of the things I learnt (or rather I’m reminded of) is to appreciate my moments more, my here and now. I don’t time travel (duh), but there could still be tendencies to look backward or forward beyond reasonable limits. Not anymore. Here and now. Here and now.

When I really like a book, I usually try to promote it to my family (depending on suitability). To my sister I said: “Nanti saya pinjamkan kat awak, ok?” (not “Awak nak pinjam tak?” hehe, so pushy). She was skeptical. “Hmm.. taste kita tak berapa sama.” I answered, “Don’t worry, it’s a love story! Sure you’ll like it.” When I offerred this book to MHH, he was reluctant “But it’s a love story.” I answered “But this guy time-travels, it’s interesting!” Haha, different pitch for different taste :)

I'm aware that the film made based on this book is out, but I'm not interested to watch it because I already know the story and how it all ends. I'm also aware that Audrey Niffenegger's second book titled Her Fearful Symmetry is already published and THAT - is in my wishlist :)


Going the distance for the love of books

>> Sunday, April 11, 2010

What a heartwarming story! A lady in Indonesia, who continues to love reading despite having to drop out from school due to financial constraints, now spreads her love of reading to children in the rural areas, first by bringing books for loan on her bike and now by opening a small library. Read more here.

I first heard about this from Bibliobibuli.


Still under construction

>> Thursday, April 8, 2010

I wasn’t actually ready to launch this blog, but I told myself – enough procrastinating! Since it was the book fair week, I thought it’d be good to just go ahead. But the result is – as you can see, this blog looks 'not-quite-finished’. I need to start filling up the columns at the sides with widgets and banners, for example, and I need to find a better header! I want to find something that is related to this blog’s theme which is books, and in case I can’t find one that I like enough, I might need to make my own, and that will take some time because I’m not good with graphics. In any case, I’ll slowly build this blog. My aim to post one or two posts per week, hope I’ll be able to meet my target. Wish me luck!

Update: MH (my husband) has found a nice image for me to use as header. It's the British Museum Library and it's pretty cool :)


KLIBF 2010

>> Sunday, April 4, 2010

I went to the 29th Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair on Thursday the 25th March. I took a half day leave on a working day because I prefer to visit the booths in a less crowded environment. In any case, I only spent 90 minutes there because I had run out of cash by then! There's nothing like sticking to one's budget like bringing just enough cash and refraining from using one's ATM or credit cards.

Here are the books that I've bought. Several novels, one non-fiction and several mini cookbooks for me, and one storybook and two boardbooks for my kids.

And here's one of the photos I took there. Less visitors on a weekday.

Why bother go to the book fair? To me, it's both the discounts and excitements :)



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