The MV Doulos, 'slave' in Greek, is not only the the world largest floating bookstore but it is also recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest ocean-going passenger ship still active. This vessel was built in 1914 as a cargo transport. It is now owned by a German charity which turned it into a book store in 1977. Operating with an all volunteer crew and staff of 320 people from over 40 countries, it has since docked at more than 500 ports and 100 countries. The 130-metre ship boast of over 6,000 categories of books on board! But alas, this grand old vessel is planning to retire in 2021 after more than a century of servitude!
Last week, it docked at Kota Kinabalu port again (apparently it has been here three times before which we missed) and will be here until the 26th October. This would be its last trip to KK before it retire.
Everyday during the 15-day-visit, various programmes are taking place from international cafes but too bad all the tickets were sold out when we enquired.
The bookstore opens to the public until the 26th October: daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm, and Sundays from 2:00pm to 10:00pm.
Hi girls, that's a Aussie flag. Find our Jalur Gemilang! It displays the flag of every country the ship had visited.
The first time I went on one of these was when I was still in secondary school. Anyone remember the Logos? It left a very deep impression on me and I still have the one and only book I bought back then - a Marguerite Patten's International cookbook which cost me an arm and a leg - my entire week of allowance!
This time around, I still ended up at the cookbook section and refused to leave even when the girls screamed for lack of air and water (it was truly packed, I was also feeling the effect of oxygen deprivation). I only managed to get one...'Sweet comfort food'.
One last view of the grand vessel after we disembarked (from nowhere).