Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cheapo Cheapo Books

It can't be anything but good news when you come across a source of cheap copies of books you want to read.

I seldom go to Amcorp Mall, but went exploring on Friday and found several book rental shops, a branch of Pay Less and branch of Popular, and this ...

Some four years back Jaqueline Ng (pictured here with her husband) began selling imported magazines in Reissued for a fraction of the cost of current issues - most titles go for RM9.90, and it's possible to get magazines which are just a month or two old. It's a good place to stock up on reading material for specialist interests and some of the titles are not normally sold in Malaysia.

She has now started BookXcess in the adjacent lot, planning to bring in a plentitude of cheap books from the UK. She's using the same suppliers as Big Bookshop and plans to keep prices to the same level e.g. most fiction titles are going for under RM20. The difference is that you won't have to wait for a warehouse sale - the books will be this price year round. A new consignment will be here soon and she has promised to let me know when they arrive.

Meanwhile, if you are in Amcorp, do drop by and talk to Jacqueline about the kinds of books you'd like to see brought in and the kind of prices you'd be prepared to pay. The shop is located at Level 2-10. (And why not go browse when you drop by the Sunday flea market?)

Anyway I couldn't resist a few mags and bought Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones for RM19.90.

I also went off the the Times Warehouse sale. There were an awful lot of books there - as usual - but a lot I think were "recycled" from their previous sales and there was little fiction that I fancied.

I wasn't tempted go crazy, but found enough stuff to make me happy including Melvyn Bragg's 12 Books that Changed the World (which I had almost bought full price), Writing Poetry (in the Teach Yourself series but surprisingly useful), The Cat Owner's Manual (am a sucker for books on cats and this one made me laugh 'cos it's written in techie speak) An Instance of the Finger Post by Iain Pears (a novel highly recommended by friends some time back), and Shirley Lim's Joss and Gold (to fill a gap in my local reading).

Was a bit sad to see books getting bent and warped by the way they were arranged/ chucked on the tables. Even a remaindered book deserves respect.

And the biggest downside to the sale was the total hassle of trying to find a parking place where there were none at all to be had.

Not enough cheap books for you? The Big Bookshop warehouse sale is still on in Atria until the end of this month, though no new stock has been added. And MPH has a Bookfair and Stock Clearance Sale at its Subang Parade branch 17th-28th January, with discounts of up to 50%.

(Pic nicked from MPH website)


Burhan said...

for a relatively small shopping complex, there are three bookstores and two magazine stands at amcorp, as well as a mamak restaurant! i usually go there because i like the old-style cinema on the top floor.

bibliobibuli said...

as well as very nice nasi padang! haven't made it to the cinema yet

Chet said...

If you'd wanted parking for your car, you could've had it washed while browsing the Times book sale. That's the answer to lack of parking in that area. And I could've done likewise - gone to browse the Times book sale while my car is being washed. Just two doors away. Except I forgot. But after reading your report, I guess there wasn't much to browse.

The Big Bookshop sale is still on???

fei said...

Wow, Sharon,

I might as well stop by there and buy a copy of Gail Jones's book. Is there any left? I am reading her Sixty Lights, although I am only half way through, i like her writing style, the emotion and chracters linger. Plan to read her Black Mirror too which I got from last Times sale.

bibliobibuli said...

i didn't see another copy of "dreams of speaking" but you can call jacqueline:

Subashini said...

pj is my 'hood, and amcorp is totally my scene! *grin* i get off at the taman jaya LRT stop before heading home, and can usually be found loitering about the payless in amcorp, and the other super-messy 2nd-hand bookstore on the 3rd floor, after a particularly hellish day at work. there's also a very nice rental bookstore on the 2nd floor, i believe, called my book place. it's tiny, but tidy and well-stocked.

i get made fun of for hanging out at amcorp mall, usually by people who will only be seen at the curve or whatever. i'd take amcorp over that fake, plastic, hyper-scary mall-city... or whatever the hell it is, any day.

i didn't know the big bookshop sale at the atria is still going on! happy, happy, joy, joy!!! yay. i just returned from the times warehouse sale; had to drag my sister outta there after about an hour when i stopped breathing and starting sneezing... and sneezing. i have big-time allergy issues. BUT still walked away with:
jonathan franzen, the corrections
richard wright, black boy
elizabeth bowen, the shelbourne
the graphic novel version of paul auster's city of glass for only rm 8... HELLO!
mario vargas llosa, in praise of the stepmother
paul auster, oracle night (finally, an auster book!)

am still sneezing, but consider it an afternoon well-spent. now, off to read the zadie smith article...

Eliza said...

I had quite a bookloot actually at the Times sale but perhaps it was I was after a different set of titles. Thanks for the alert on Amcorp. Am on the lookout for cheap back issues of home decor international mags.

acquisitionist said...

Wow, I'm jealous. We don't have anything like those sales here. On the plus side though Gail Jones lectures at my university. I didn't realise she was so well- known abroad.

bibliobibuli said...

subashini - the graphic novel version of paul auster's city of glass for only rm 8... HELLO!*sob* i just bought it full price at times bsc.

acquisitionist - also wrote about her here. am a fan after hearing her speak - envy you your lecturer.

Greenbottle said...

off topic a bit but i hope sharon won't mind... watched aljazeera (english) on astro today and there was a mention about an interview on a programme 101 east asia(?) with ms dina zaman the 'controversial malaysian writer' on something about being a muslim or something to that effect... didn't exactly catch it when it'll be aired...i'd be interested to watch this...anybody can help?
it's a great plus to ms dina i think as she would be in good's program was an interview with anwar ibrahim and another with terry waite....


coming back to the original topic... yes the current TIMES sales is a bit poor on good fiction but if you like other stuff it's ok...bought a few travel writings including :-

(1) The traveller's tree - a journey through the carribean island -Patrick Leigh Fermor
(2) A fortune-teller told me (earthboud travels in the far east)- Tizian Terzani
(3) At the tomb of the inflatable pig : a riotous journey into the heart of paraguay - John gimlette
(4)The lands of charm and cruelty :travels in southeast asia -stan sesser
(5) green dragon, sombre warrior: travels to china's extreme

the only fictions bought were tibor fischer's the colector collector, and john banville's kepler. also bought jonathen frantzen's essay collections 'how to be a lone'

best find: "all the rave"the rise and fall od shawn fanning's napster" - Joseph menn

guilty read find:..."sex lives of the popes"..

irene said...

I almost went to the Times sale today but decided it would probably be too crowded for me. Thanks for the tip re: Jacqueline's new bookshop -- I'm meeting friends for dinner in Amcorp tomorrow and will be sure to check it out!

Amcorp has an incredibly disorganised 2nd-hand bookstore on the 3rd floor near the cinema. I once went there looking for books by a specific author... "Oh, we have lots of those in storage! Please leave your name and we'll get back to you." That was about two years ago... haven't heard anything from them yet. Tsk tsk.

The Big Bookshop sale at Atria is STILL going on?!?! Eek!

Anonymous said...

Can't afford it. Plus still not finished all the books I got :P

(sad but true.)

bibliobibuli said...

greenbottle - thanks. didn't know anything about dina's interview - will ask her.

you got quite a good haul, hey? i have a couple of the travel books and they are worth having

irene - myabe it's better to go to the times sale when it's a bit quieter?

anon- you are the sensible one!

Sufian said...

I got these:

1. Lime's Photograph, Leif Davidsen (Danish writer, story about paparazzo)
2. Hell and Back, Tim Parks (Collection of essays by translator Tim Parks)
3. Mouse or Rat, Umberto Eco (Eco's meditation on translation)
4. Tamburlaine must Die, Louise Walsh (Murder mystery starring Christopher Marlowe!)
5. The Diary of a Mad Old Man, Tanizaki
6. Quicksand, Tanizaki (Japanese Girl on Girl lit)
7. Interrogator's War, Chris Mackey, (Non fiction)
8. Literary Occasions, VS Naipaul (essays, collection)
9. Two photography magazines
10. Kant and the Platypus, Umberto Eco (essays)
11. Books by Mauel Vazquez Montalban (culinary loving detective series)
12. Bartleby & Co, Enrique Vila-Matas (a lazy writer looking for 'bartlebys' in literature)

bibliobibuli said...

wow sufian, that's quite a list! i didn't see any of those ...