Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Finding the best book bargains

“The simple truth is that there’s deep satisfaction to be found in making do and mending, finding a bargain and enjoying small pleasures. Acquisition for acquisition sake; we are learning to tell the difference between our wants and our needs.”Will these tough times make us happier?, Marie Claire UK Edition, June 2009

I’m looking at the above quote from the perspective of getting the best for my book purchases. As a booklover, finding a book bargain is extremely important. The amount I spend on books is obscene with an annual 5-figure sum. I love acquiring books. My wish list is super long because of my ever-expanding interest in various genres and also thanks to my favorite book bloggers. My TBR (to-be-read) list is even longer and it’s growing phenomenally every day (I kid you not).

But still, there is a good mix between “want” and “need” here. I could be facing a worse “want” such as spending hundreds (or possibly thousands) on cosmetics or beauty products, clothes, shoes, bags, perfumes, massage, mani and pedi—you name it, so buying books to feed my mind does not seem so bad now, does it? I’m not saying that a girl shouldn’t look pretty and all that, but what I’m saying is that I spend more on books than anything else. I still keep myself neat and presentable.


Back to the topic of finding book bargains: how does one do it? There are various ways and I do these:
  1. Watch out for discounts at bookstoresMPH Online offers discounts of up to 30% on some titles not available in their physical stores; Kinokuniya offers up to 25% on some of the latest titles; Borders have some fantastic 3-for-2 offers and now many other bookstores are following suit.

  2. Go to warehouse sales—Occasionally MPH and Times will organize warehouse sales and I always visit them.

  3. Buy from used books websites—My favorite is Betterworld.com. Their book price starts from US$3.48, and offers free delivery in the U.S. and US$3.97 per book worldwide. There are also others like Abebooks.com and Alibris.com, but none offers cheap shipping like Betterworld.com.

  4. Buy from other local bookstores offering heavily discounted price—I am a member of BookXcess. New novels and other non-fiction are sold at prices so low, I bought bags of books from them at one go.

  5. Buy from online booksellersBook Depository is a wonderful bookseller that offers FREE shipping worldwide and I buy from them when I “need” to read the latest release, but don’t want to pay for the costly shipping cost charged by sellers like Amazon.com (unless I'm really desperate). Another favorite is Christianbook.com. I’ve bought boxes of great books from them with price starting from US$0.49. Let's not forget Acmabooks too!

  6. Last but not least, the free-of-charge way: Library
When I don’t have any photography projects, I like spending time at home, lounging around with my book-of-the-moment, sipping my 3-in-coffee instant coffee, with soft music in the background. I spend money on books but you see, I also save a lot in return when I tuck myself at home having fun. The ROI is really, really good. There is no time to be bored. Everybody should try it, especially when you’re looking for affordable entertainment.

How about you? How do you find the best book bargains?

***

Oh ya, do not forget to participate in my book giveaway! Sign up here by Saturday, September 19.