A short walk from the street booksellers of Pansodan, in the middle block of 39th Street, partly hidden in the row of stalls, the CLC bookstore is neatly tucked. CLC is a specialty shop selling Christian books and materials. It has a lot of newly printed books in Myanmar language; and a lot more English books, most of which are second-hand. But it was really a spring in the desert! It took almost an hour to have a quick browse of the floor-to-ceiling stack of books. Most of the known Christian writers have books there – Spurgeon, Stott, Piper, etc. I assumed some of the titles are now rare and out of print books.
There are few bookstores in Yangon. The big ones include Innwa and TAB and a branch of Monument Bookstore where English books are available. And if you have been going through these stores, after some time you can memorize the titles and you began to look for something new, different from the usual ‘new arrivals.’ I have to ask local people where to find books and bookstores. I sensed older intellectuals are the only ones reading now, because the young are already captured by smart phones and social media.
The people’s bookstores are in the streets. You can find them along Pansodan and Bogyoke streets in the downtown area. Stacks of newly printed and used Myanmar books are spread in the sidewalks where you can have a sneak peek. Reproduced ‘bestseller’ books about Myanmar are available among the booksellers, but if you are conscious about copyright and royalties for writers, then forget this place.
Back to CLC, a young pastor mentioned the bookstore to me and my wife. We prioritized the search for the bookstore and we were not frustrated. Only the thin wallet restricted my selections. After some mental computations and second thoughts, I settled for four ‘exotic’ titles:
- Biblical Demonology by Merill Unger, as the title suggest, it is a study about demons as they are mentioned in the bible;
- The Apocrypha, translated by Edgar Goodspeed, the books that were not included in the ‘standard’ bible, but are part of the Roman Catholic bible;
- A Christian View of Money by Mark Vincent, managing finances based on biblical principles;
- That None Should Perish by Ed Silvoso, an approach to evangelism in a city or urban location.