Sunday, May 31, 2009

Daphne Goes to the Sales

What a time it’s been of late for book lovers in the Klang Valley! We’ve had huge warehouse sales by book wholesaler Crescent; the cheaper books people, Pay Less Books; and Big Bad Wolf Books.

The last was particularly memorable for me: I picked up more than 100 books for about RM600 – this means I paid, on average, RM6.50 a book and this includes hardback picture books (retail price at least RM60) and Nigella Lawson’s best-selling cookbook Nigella Express (also in hardcover)! In fact, prices at the sale ranged from RM5 to RM20. It was a heaven-sent event for book-buyers who were seen leaving with bulging canvas bags and loaded cardboard boxes during the five days of the sale.
Daphne Lee reports on the book warehouse sale phenomena in the Klang Valley and asks how these companies do it.

As she says it's great for the readers (and in a country where decent libraries are few and far between, we feel we deserve something) ... but presumably it's presumably not good at all for the bookshops.

By the way, Saras was showing me some of the great books she found for RM5 each at Carrefour (and apparently the sale is at all branches).

Pay Less warehouse sales will be held as follows :
10 - 12 JULY 2009 : YMCA KL

31 JULY - 1 AUGUST 2009 : 3K INN


11 - 13 SEPTEMBER 2009 : YMCA KL

9 - 11 OCTOBER 2009 : 3K INN


20 - 22 NOVEMBER 2009 : YMCA KL

11 - 13 DECEMBER 2009 : 3K INN


tr said...

yup big bad wolf books sale r the best ..i went there 15 times...just to check out if they bring out new titles...and the huge book piles in the restricted area r so tempting-make me want 2 help the staffs unpack them all.
haha ;) was thinking of staying there from morning till it closed! :)

bex said...

I think there's another Pay Less one on 5-7 at The Summit.

Anonymous said...


I've followed your blog quite a bit, though I wouldn't say with the frequency that I wish I hope to. The article that was published in The Star by Daphne Lee caught my attention, due in no small part to my slight jealousy that KL folks have relatively more access to this kind of opportunities to buy books than others. I'm a student from another state, and I find all these chances to even get a glimpse of actual "cheap" warehouse sales far too little. Books are definitely my kind of thing, so it's with a sense of frustration that I read of these kind of events. I'm reminded of the fact that these stuff usually never reaches other states even. Sigh.

Drachen said...

I've stopped buying books from bookshops. The prices are crazy. I won't buy anything for more than RM10. I spent around RM60 at the Big Bad Wolf and won't be buying any more this year. I hope the book sales will FORCE DOWN book prices and that's good for the nation!

bibliobibuli said...

anon - i really do feel for you and wonder if there is any way to get cheap books to other cities. i tried to persuade my friend who owns pay less to take some trucks full of books out to other states but she says it wouldn't be economical and she is holding on to small profit margins as it is (the reason why the shops are closing and the selling is being done in warehouse sales).

Drachen - book prices in the shops are on a par with other parts of the world, a lot cheaper than say australia. yet compared to the cost of living generally, do feel expensive here. i worry that this huge amount of dumping of cheap books will eventually mean that the bookshops go out of business or just become glorified stationers.

Drachen said...

The entire nation can only support one Borders and one Kinokuniya. I think that's pretty elitist.

Anonymous said...

i can't agree more with Drachen. Kino is doing a fantastic job and i believe that the other players are not trying hard enough as they have dominated the market and without proper competition they have set the rules.

Anonymous said...

Prices of Books in Malaysia are some of the cheapest in the world. Kino is doing a great job.

- Poppadumdum

Anonymous said...

And where else in the world can you actually sit in a bookshop and read? :)

Anonymous said...

And have decently-priced coffee upstairs with free wifi? And a view out of the Twin Towers into the park? Kino is one of the most lovely bookshops in the world, and as a Malaysian I'm very proud of it - I tell the people I meet on my travels to make it a point to go there when they're in KL.

We also get the newest titles very quickly in KL. It saddens me when people complain about the price of books in Malaysia, then go and spend RM50 on a so-so meal or RM200on a spa session or buy a DVD of a crappy movie for RM69.90. And how many countries in the world don't put a tax on books?

- Poppadumdum

Chet said...

I don't remember Coffee Club in Kino offering free wifi anytime I was there. :-(

But I agree it's a very good bookstore, especially with its current "pair of eyes" discount scheme - 28% off a book of one's choice every month up to November.

Anonymous said...

Just switch on your laptop when you're there...they don't publicise it but it's there. Or ask the friendly staff.

Drachen said...

I'm trying to keep lunch below RM4. I believe there are plenty of people like me out there. So buying books has become a luxury.