The Hitchhiker's Guide to Purchasing Books for Malaysians
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“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” ― Joseph Brodsky
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” ― Lemony Snicket
If you're like me, you love reading books. Books are my number one source of knowledge. Reading a book is a delightful journey. But finding and buying one is another story. I'm not going to discuss about downloading pirated e-books because
the editor will kill me if I write about it we Teratorians don't support piracy. So here's a short guide to purchase that book you've always wanted!
1. Try The Local Bookstores First!
If you're looking for a fiction book, then chances are that you can find it in a local bookstore. I highly recommend going to Kinokuniya or Borders. Non-fiction books and textbooks are harder to find locally. Either it's not there, or it has been categorized by monkeys (e.g. a technical book I recently bought from MPH is categorized under "Sports and Hobbies").
2. Make Sure You Can Pay Online
First thing first: how would you pay online? If you don't have a card that can be used to make online purchases, it's time to get yourself one! I'm using a BIG Visa debit card to pay for my online purchases because it can be easily reloaded via CIMB Clicks at no cost, and it's really cheap (RM 10 signup fee and RM5 annual fee)! If you are too young to own one, ask your parents to do the payment for you. You might have to do extra house chores for that though.
3. Finding Your Books Online
Say hello to bookfinder.com, a powerful search engine for finding books online. Key in the book you want, and it will search for it in other online bookstores. What's great is that the listed price is including the shipping price, just so that it doesn't appear deceiving. And did I mention it searches for used books too? (editor's note: of course you did not, silly) Used books are generally cheaper (especially the older ones). But their quality vary across different sellers. And if you're unlucky, some might even con you! So there's no guarantee that they'll ship the book to you. But in my experience, all the used books that I've purchased came in acceptable quality (some even better than I expected).In case you don't want to use bookfinder.com, here's a list of online bookstores which I recommend:
- bookdepository.com (free shipping!)
- amazon.com (useful to check the reviews)
- betterworldbooks.com (free shipping!)
4. Purchasing your Books
Read the instructions on the site (duh) and make your payment. Your books should be shipped within days, and arrive within a month or so.
5. Enjoy your Books!
In the future, hopefully I will post another guide on purchasing used books from Amazon. Used books in Amazon can sometimes be as cheap as $0.01 USD! However, most of the sellers will only ship to a US address. But there is a workaround to that. Stay tuned!
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