Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bookworm post. Stay Out.

Today, in Ikano Power Centre's Popular bookstore, I used up all of the two hundred ringgit worth of 1Malaysia book vouchers gifted to me -- just like the ones every other primary and secondary school and college student received. It is moment like this when you can thank God you're still a student. This sudden act of generosity by the government is probably to encourage the reading culture (almost non-existent) in our society, though I do suspect that this is also part of some evil scheme of the government to score extra cookie points from among the rakyat. And by the way, general election is drawing anywhere near from now. Just saying. That's of course not to say I wasn't grateful for the vouchers, because you can give me any amount of book vouchers right now and I'll take it without a second thought of any blackmailing that may entail in the future.

Anyway, purchasing books in a bookstore hadn't happened to me in a long time, so I am thrilled I finally got something. It's not that I stopped buying books prior to this, but technically, all the novels, and the occasional autobiographies, memoirs and hardcovers that I had bought in the later part of last year -- if not the whole -- were obtained from book fairs and warehouse sales that gave deliciously generous discounts, and those don't count as bookstores. For other more interest-specific or obscure titles (like history of beaded jewelry or interior designer profiles) that couldn't be salvaged from a clearance, I resorted to the cheap thrill of frequent jaunts to my college library (total bookworm, I know right) to read for free. Christian books, I have many friends to borrow them from. So you see, I had more than enough of my supply of books without needing those major bookstores anymore. Oh wait, I did buy some magazines from Popular the other day, but magazine is arguably not a book. Not counted.

So yup, today was to be a good day of vouchers spent on books that haven't been thrown around, disfigured and marked down to one-fifth of its original worth. I can finally splurge on some expensive books, and looked around excitedly at all the titles once we stepped into the store I did too.

But do you know what happens once you have been spoiled hopeless with all the book fairs (MPH, Popular, The Big Bad Wolf) that popped out randomly around Klang Valley throughout the year? You get so used to filthily cheap books, you now think everything you see or yearn for in a proper bookstore is expensive. At least that was what happened to me.

Initially, I was excited I could get practically anything that I wanted just because I already had currency designated for books. I'd had my hopes high on buying some art and craft books that in other circumstances would have been too pricey. But after fifteen minutes of flipping through pages of fashion, how-to-paint, crocheting and jewelry-making books, I realized my current circumstance didn't change my opinion that these books were too pricey. Just picking three craft books could easily take up all of my vouchers' monetary worth, and I preferred being able to buy more than just three items with the vouchers. What more, now that all these artsy stuff can now be learnt through blogs and YouTube, I saw no point in buying these books anymore -- especially when I couldn't be sure yet what craft I really wanted to invest my time and money in in the long term.

So I walked away from the shelves imaginably labeled 'exorbitantly priced titles,' and splurged on expensive stationery and blank-page journals (one for me, one for Jess) I wouldn't usually be willing to pay for instead. And also two novels that I knew could be obtained much more cheaply in some future fairs but I didn't want to wait for. (I finally got Coraline by Neil Gaiman that I'd wanted since forever.) The remaining value, I let my mom use on her Chinese books.

At long last, I now have those little punchers that punch adorable little shapes (59.90 MYR, but thankfully, there was 30% discount), which made me giddy with joy not unlike a kid with her first Play-Doh set. The second novel I got is The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.
My blank-page journal made from recycled papers. I bought it because I hardly come across journal covers with fine art on it. It's too pretty to not be my next journal. :)
From now on, I think I'm mostly going to stop buying books from major bookstores, because it's just silly to do that when they will have book fairs selling the same things for less anyway.

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