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Book Business

“Cheap” Books

Two days ago I walked into ASDA supermarket and bought Tony Parsons’ book titled “One for my baby” for £1. First time for me and a rare find, besides Sidney Sheldon’s books going for £1. In Malaysia, you will never ever get paperbacks for less than RM20. As I told one of my job interviewer from Harper Collins, in a bad time, book sales will not suffer in this part of the world. But it will be badly affected in Asia when a book is about 30 to 50% of an average grocery expenses (RM300= £60). Over here, a paperback is the price of 4 packs of 175g of Walker’s potato crisp or 500g of beef. This really changes my value on book acquisition and collection.

First, I am now able to read a paperback and sell it off online with no gain. I could decide not to keep any books for “Just-in-case” because if I really need a specific book, I could always purchase it online again. I could choose to buy used books so that I help preserve some trees. I could even read and decided that the story is not that great for me to keep it and I could pass it on to another friend to read. Or you might even swap books with your friends.

The big supermarket sells paperbacks for the standard price of £3.86 or two for £7. Their titles are never duplicated, meaning Tesco will never sell the same books as ASDA. It is only for limited time. Or pay £0.01 + £2.75 for packaging and postage buying via Amazon.co.uk for famous paperbacks where readers no longer want to keep. The local bookstores however sell at the RRP of £6.99 or £7.99 for a paperback. You must however buy 3 for the price of two to get the price similar to the big supermarkets.

It is amazing to live in this part of the world, if it is only to be close to local libraries and “cheap” books.  Cheap doesn’t mean low quality, instead it means having higher Purchasing Power Parity to be able to not think too hard to buy a book, as compared to the rest of the world. I could pick up a book while I shop for my grocery, while I am waiting for a plane in the airport and knowing that I would be taking a 13 hour flight, while I am at the train station. The price will never ever be a barrier for me to want to read a book. Reading then becomes my birth right. Reading then becomes breathing.

It is truly amazing, if you think about it.

About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


6 thoughts on ““Cheap” Books

  1. I didn’t realise books were so expensive in Asia! I’ve always lived in the UK so I’m used to cheap supermarket deals and also being able to purchase books cheaply in charity shops.

    Posted by Sam (Tiny Library) | May 5, 2012, 4:50 pm
    • Sam,
      It’s expensive, proportionately to what people earn in the country. I wrote the post in early 2009 and doing some housekeeping on my blog. As it is with WordPress, when you update a post which is more than 2 years old, it seems to pop up at Google reader feed again! 🙂

      Posted by JoV | May 5, 2012, 5:03 pm
  2. Yes, I realise how lucky we are in the UK. Part of me thinks that it leads to people undervaluing literature and another part of me curses it for filling my house with far too many books, but overall I’m glad I have the ability to buy any book I like.

    PS. I’m glad your old posts pop up like this!

    Posted by farmlanebooks | May 5, 2012, 5:40 pm
    • Jackie,
      Yes, Yes. It’s great to feel you are able to share, purchase and giveaway and purchase again any book you want in the world without breaking your piggy bank! 😀

      Posted by JoV | May 6, 2012, 8:16 am
  3. we are very lucky I buy moist my second hand a charity shops new books either when in london at large shop for specific translation that I may not buy locally or offers ,but most are second hand for me ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | May 8, 2012, 7:52 pm

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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