Broke for Books

In Malaysia, a few times a year there will be the ‘book sale season’. This is when bookshops have their clearance sales and it always strangely happen within weeks of each other. Logically, wouldn’t it make sense to spread the sales out so that the competition wouldn’t be so great, hence maximising one’s profit? Well, that’s how I see it anyway.

I have been to three book sales within this fortnight and have blown about RM200 in total. It’s not that much compared to what some people are spending at the sales (thousands of ringgit!) but this is wreaking havoc with my finances because I am having some money troubles this month and on top of that, I recently went on a vacation and still owe some money. But that’s not the point of this post.

The point is I cannot resist cheap books. That’s the thing with book sales – there might not be other copies, they’ll only be open for a week at the most and you might not get the same book at another book sale, or at the same price. So there’s always that risk of not ever seeing that book in a book sale again. And there’s also that risk of seeing the same book at a cheaper price in another book sale! Talk about thrilling. 😀

I’ve been to book sales ever since it started a few years ago and the difference is pretty big. Back then the books were priced ridiculously cheap. When the bookshops saw the popularity of it, they hiked the prices but it’s still lower than retail prices. From attending so many book sales, I’ve become more savvy about what is a good buy and what is not. Sometimes I don’t think the price is worth it, yet I’ll still buy it simply because it’s a title that’s difficult to get anywhere else and I really want a copy of that book. It helps that as a general rule of thumb I’d only buy books that I have read before and want a copy, or will buy a book I haven’t read provided it is dirt cheap.

Usually, my budget is RM50. At a good book sale, I can buy half a dozen with that budget. There’s a second-hand bookshop chain here that also holds book sales too, and this is where I stock up on children and young adult literature, which is one of my favourite genres. Here, I can buy a dozen books easily and it’ll cost less than RM40.

My bookshelf is filling up fast with books I have yet to read. My money is so tight for this month that I’m not going to splurge on anything else until I get my paycheck. Thank goodness I have a part-time job to supplement my income. Where do I work? At a bookshop. Haha! The bookshop sells unsold and overprint books at a much cheaper rate than chain bookstores here, so again I cannot resist buying sometimes. I get a 25% staff discount, can you blame me!

What about you, do you have any ‘broke for books’ stories? I know there are some real crazy people who buy books as if they’re going to live underground in their homes for many years or something! Seriously, how to they find the time to devour so many books? I have about two dozen unread books and I’m one of the more prudent book buyers at book sales!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. ronnie
    May 14, 2009 @ 23:11:29

    i read your entry on che husna & melor’s perspective, & i find those interesting, so interesting that i am somehow inspired to begin a blog of books and literature of my own. thanks for being such an inspiration!

    nylusmilk: wow, that is a super compliment, thank you. 🙂 you should, it’s very fun!


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