Skip to main content

Literary Hypermarts.

I find it extremely embarrassing but two of my favourite sources of cheap books happen to be hypermarkets, to be specific, both Tesco and Giant in Puchong. Both of these hypermarkets happen to have their cheap books sourced by the same distributor, who I sometimes suspect to have shady connections to unscrupulous book warehousers, but that's just irresponsible speculation on my part.

In any case, I don't mind, like how I don't mind that Times and Popular and Big Bookstore keep having Book Warehouse Clearance Sales every other month at suspiciously cheap prices.

At RM8 or thereabouts, the books are cheap, but this is mostly because the books are horribly creased in the spine or there's a noticeable cutting or printing error. The books are still readable of course, it's just that they're not in pristine condition fit for the bookstore, and are, I suspect, rejects from the publisher that are supposed to have been destroyed.

Nevertheless, dig through the pile (and my! what a huge pile it can be at times), you might find a few gems, gems you might be hard-pressed to even find in Payless. Most recently, I found Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds and a nice copy of Dashiell Hammett's Thin Man, as well as a couple of seldom seen Penguin modern classics (the titles escape me at this moment in time).

Sometimes I just go to Tesco or Giant to restock on coffee or earl grey, without the least intention of buying books, but then I step out with 5 books or so. Just goes to show... I can't escape book buying no matter where I go.

Comments

  1. oh ted, please do go and read this old post of leon's. it's so funny about the cheap penguins in hypermarkets.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Sharon! Oh yeah... just noticed they're all penguins!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ted!

    First time visitor here, from Tunku Halim's blog. I bought my copy of At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill at a Tesco too.

    Given how expensive books, especially hardbacks, can be these days, I'd say there's no shame in investigating these more affordable options.

    Any reason to read is a good one. ;)

    Cheers,
    Kenny.

    ReplyDelete
  4. At Swim, Two Boys! What a marvellous coincidence!

    Actually, the reason I find it so embarrassing buying books at these places is because I don't usually associate them with buying books. If anything, when I go there it's NOT to buy books but groceries... especially because my TBR list is now in the hundreds, thanks to last year's non-stop warehouse sales!

    Anyway, thanks for dropping by, Kenny.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This proves that I really need to get out more often. I never thought hypermarkets like tesco is selling books.

    Which section is it? Next to the cold storage or by the shampoo section?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm only familiar with the Tesco and Giant in Puchong.

    That being said, in Tesco, it's to your left after you enter the main shopping area, hidden discretely in the stationery section. (It used to be in plain view some time ago.)

    In Giant, it's right in the centre, at the exit from the main shopping area... but here it's seasonal. It comes and goes every few months, but they usually have a much larger stock than Tesco's. Currently Giant doesn't have the books.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amaruhizat,
    The layout for all Tescos are the same, so as Ted said, you can find the books in the stationery section to your left (immediately as you enter the hypermarket proper).

    I believe some stores have better selection than others though.

    Question to everyone: Any idea how I can get on the mailing list (if such exist) for book warehouse sales? Another blogger informed me I just missed the last Pay Less warehouse sales. (Which my wallet is thankful for, actually, haha.) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. With Payless, you can give your email address next time you visit one of their stores. I think you need to be a cardmember for the rest (e.g. Time, MPH, Big Bookstore).

    But no worries, just make sure you read Sharon's blog, and you'll never miss a sale!

    ReplyDelete
  9. you've got a new look! love it!

    happy valentine's btw

    ReplyDelete
  10. Glad you liked it Sharon! I've been sitting on the images for 2 years now and finally decided I'd do something with it...

    Happy Valentine's to you too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey, I LIKED the cow! Where's it gone? Put out to pasture? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ah, interesting, interesting.

    *scribbling topo map*

    Thanks for the info guys.

    I am really amuse by this, I am imagining how it would be if Pasar Borong Selayang sell books. ha!

    ReplyDelete
  13. The cow liked you too Sympozium! He hasn't been put out to pasture (yet...), he's been accepted into a writer's residency program and won't be around for quite some time. He sends his love.

    Amaruhizat, that doesn't sound like a bad idea. I wouldn't mind fresh crabs with a copy of Jude the Obscure or Man in the High Castle or something =p

    ReplyDelete
  14. I liked the cow too.
    From a cute cow, you have evolved to an angry bear with a crayon strapped to his back. Hmmm... I wouldn't want to mess around with you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well, the bear's angry and jealous the cow got chosen for the residency programme while he didn't. Besides, we'll learn to like him in time. He can be cute too, in a curmudgeonly sort of way... kinda like thor kah hoong. o_0

    ReplyDelete
  16. animah, i don't think that's a crayon strapped to his back. My artist intuition tells me (and also by the shape and length) that it is a pencil.

    Which somehow became totally black.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's a pencil all right. Which got dropped into chinese ink by mistake.

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

HOWTO: Get Rid of Silverfish

The bane of every book collecting person: the Silverfish. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!!

How to get rid of them?

If one book has been infected, place it inside an air-tight plastic bag along with some silica gel desiccant. The silica gel is important to get rid of moisture, because you will now place the sealed plastic bag with the book in it inside the freezer. Leave it in there for a couple of days so that those bugs catch their death of cold.

If you're feeling particularly paranoid, (like I usually am) feel free to leave the plastic bag in there for a week. If they're not dead, then you might likely have an infestation of zombie silverfish, which is out of the scope of this blogpost.

But what if a whole colony of silverfish decided to invade your whole bookcase? Then you have to make sure you're ready for war.

Place a generous amount of silica gel (or if you can find it, diatomaceous earth) behind your books at the back of the shelves so that moisture levels remain low. Silverfish l…

Hitting 1000.

Last night Sharon quoted Raman of having said to writers when they bring him their manuscripts for publishing, "How many books have you read? Have you read a thousand books? If not, get out and go read a thousand books, then come back with your manuscript." His point being, you've got to have read a lot if you want to be a writer.

And I thought to myself, a thousand books isn't so bad. I've probably read more.

Er...Wrong.

After some quick calculations, we determined that if a person read a book per week, it would take around 20 years to reach a thousand. I'm a slow reader. I'm only 25. There's no way I've read 1000 books my whole life!

When I got home I counted the books in my house. I estimate I own around 300 books, probably another 300 left at my parents's house. That's only around 600 books that I own... and a lot less that I've read!

So with that number in mind, I have resolved to start keeping track of my book reading. I need to know …

Happy New Year!

So, 2018 already huh? Time for some resolutions!

Write a short story every fortnight
Lol. I don't even know if this is possible, because my usual resolution every year is to write a short story every month and I've failed every year I've attempted it. Writing a short story every fortnight means writing two short stories a month. How is that even possible? Well, I have a plan mapped out, aaaaaand if I stick to it, it should work out. Maybe. Anyway the goal here is to keep writing, and from there, to keep submitting, which I was lax on in 2017.

Focus on writing English short stories
I spent a lot of time in 2015, 2016, and 2017 reading and writing in Malay. My goal back then was to get good at writing in my native language, and have it be up to my standards writing in English. I think I have succeeded in that aim. After all, I did get published in Dewan Sastera, Tunas Cipta, and even had two Malay novels published (after winning a novel-writing competition no less) so I will, …