Saturday, August 10, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge – Day 6: How I Shop for Books

Before the online shopping era, I used to go frequently to Gramedia—the biggest book store in Indonesia—which we can find in almost every city. Once a month at least, I would be entering any of Gramedia stores with the hunger to scan any interesting book on the “new release” shelf. If there are too many of them for my budget that month, I’ll take note of the title, so I know what to buy (or consider to buy) for next time.

Now, the internet makes shopping for book becomes much easier:
  • I don’t have to take notes at the book store (I’ve been once reproved by the staff for taking notes), I can create a personal account in the online store’s website, and keep all my wishlist there.
  • I can visit a book store anytime, as long as I’m using internet; it saves time and energy. All I have to do is to open my wishlist and put it into my basket.
  • To look for a certain book, I can go from one book store to another in just few clicks; I can even compare the prices, stocks, and editions so easily.

And this is how I shop my books through the internet (because I don’t go to offline book store anymore, unless I need a book very urgently for a birthday gift):

Thanks to Goodreads and social media, I am always updated of new published and good books around. I usually spend much time in reading as much as review of one book that comes to my radar. I like to read both positive (from people who give 4 or 5 stars), and negative comments (from they who dislike the book to give only 2 stars). I’d like to know what makes them love it and hate it; what kind of reader they who love it or hate it; are they have similarity with me or not. For example, if a guy who gives the book 2 stars has the opposite opinion with me about the book’s theme, then perhaps I’d like the book (I’d also check the 5 stars review with the same reason). From that, I can judge whether I would like a book or at least whether the book deserves to be considered later.

For English books (and lately my reading is dominated by English books), my favorite book store is The Book Depository, with Amazon and Better World Books for second choices when the book I want isn’t available in TBD. TBD is so far the cheapest choice for us in Indonesia, thanks to their free delivery shipment. The site navigation is quite simple and fast, which is very comfortable for shopping.

For Indonesian translation books, I rely on Maria who has cooperation with some publishers, and can get a fair discount especially for pre-order books. Maria also lives in Surabaya, and we used to meet every several months with the others book blogger in the city, and so she can keep the book(s) for me, and just hand it me on when we meet (again, free delivery shipment, ha!).

So, I guess, I should say goodbye to offline book store which has loose its attraction to me, thanks to the internet. Now, everytime I enter a book store and take a look at the books (even ones in the ‘new released’ shelf) I would feel like: Ah…I already knew this book. And that book too. And that one is what they talked about in Twitter last week. Oh, that one is what that publisher has been promoting for days. And so….there’s no more excitement left for me to go around traditional book stores….

What about you? How do you shop for books?


The rest 14 days of the challenge:
Day 1 - 15 Book Related Confessions
Day 2 - Bedtime Reading Ritual
Day 3 - Blogging BFFs
Day 4 - Last Book I Didn't Finish
Day 5 - A Tear-Jerker
Day 7 - My Blogging Quirks
Day 8 - 15 Things Appeals to Me on Blogs
Day 9 - Why I Blog About Books
Day 10 - Choosing Books To Read Next

Day 11 - Five of My Best Blog Posts
Day 12 - Blogger Fatigue? Never!

Day 13 - Underappreciated Classis Everyone Should Read


  1. I always find the negative review the most useful. No matter what the book there will always be a fair amount of people who like it. And they seem to say similar things. The people who hate a book are always different and a much easier way to judge it. If the complaints are well argued and well written I know I should procede with caution. If the complaints are the ranting invective of biased hacks its probably worth considering.

    1. Exactly! The negative reviews are more intriguing, and usually I get more of the information from them.