TS Sanusi Junid probably has the largest collection for a personal library numbering more than 20,000 books.
Allahyarhamah Alijah's Gordon's collection through MSRI (Malaysia Sociological Research Institute), Jalan U Thant found in 4 steel containers, air conditioned has more than 3720 books according to the CD library list provided to me. The books cover topics on Islam, politics and social aspects on the Palestine-Israel conflict, the Middle East, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia.
Pak Kadir's (Capt. Rivers) library in his attic room at Cameron Highlands is being catalogued and nearly 3,000 have been registered. He said the oldest book published is dated 1790 on maritime.
My collection numbered about 3,000 books, journals, references etc. I have yet to list them. It's a poorman's collection because most of the books selected were bought during sales at exhibitions and university bookstores here and overseas.
The buying spree began at garage sales and used book stores while studying at Oregon where books can be bought at a fraction of their price.
One Peace Corp family who spent time in the East Coast of Malaysia gave me several boxes of hard-to-get books about Malaysia. During my travels I look for books also.
By the time we were about to go back to Malaysia the boxes of books almost filled up the 2-room apartment of the university housing. My wife and 3 children still reminisced such cramped living experience! However, they now can write faster and better than me!
About 3/4 of the books/journals/magazines at the apartment library are on agriculture while the rest on history, Islam, general knowledge, references etc. Some of the books are also classified by countries such as China, Egypt, Thailand, USA, India-Pakistan. Once a while I would spend time in the so-called main library. Apart from that I kept a working book collection of books at two other living places, Kajang and Tronoh.
Display: Lower jaw of elephant (above) obtained from an abandoned veterinary department's laboratory.
Instamatics and SLRs (L); old records (R) mostly rocks! I am in the process of looking for a secod-hand record player.
Of late I have been frequenting the Sunday Market at Ipoh to scrounge for used books and encyclopedias.