It's the end of an era for one of the most iconic bookstores in Klang Valley.
After 15 years of operation in Malaysia's largest mall, the MPH Bookstore in 1 Utama Shopping Centre has closed its doors for good. :(
The space where the bookstore used to occupy is now entirely boarded up with a heartbreaking message displayed on its storefront:
The sign reads:
"It is with a heavy heart that MPH 1 Utama bids you all GOODBYE.
THANK YOU for your continuous and loyal support, and for allowing us to be of service to you for these past 15 years.
We hope to have your continued patronage and to continue to assist you at our newly-revamped online site."
According to MPH's website, the chain would now have less than 30 outlets operating in Malaysia with the closure of the 1 Utama outlet.
In recent years, brick-and-mortar bookstores in Malaysia have gradually scaled down their operations, possibly due to the rising popularity of digital books and the convenience of online bookstores
Take, for example, Borders. Although the bookstore chain's outposts in Malaysia seem to be holding their ground after the US arm went bankrupt in 2011, the number of Borders outlets in Malaysia are fewer than it used to be, while certain outlets have been sized down in terms of floor space.
Some bookstore chains have also branched out to selling tech accessories, toys, board games, and collectibles to make up for the decline in book sales.
In a Facebook post, independent film theatre Amenic Film Space pointed out that the closure of MPH's 1 Utama outlet is "a sign of how low our appreciation of the arts have gotten"
"It always break our hearts to see arts and hobby shops go down," it wrote.
"It's a sign of how low our appreciation of the arts have gotten. We demand fresh and new creative work but are unwilling to fork out anything for it."
*sigh* Goodbye, MPH 1 Utama. You will be missed. :'(