Only six more days until the ReaderCon! Have you all marked your calendars already? If you need more details on this event, please check out the pages linked in the sidebar.
Yesterday, Chris shared her experiences and some book buying tips for those who are outside the National Capital Region. She briefly mentioned secondhand bookstores, which is what we will be talking about today.
The Thrill of Secondhand Bookhunting by Celina Bacani
“My husband claims I have an unhealthy obsession with secondhand bookshops. That I spend too much time daydreaming altogether. But either you intrinsically understand the attraction of searching for hidden treasure amongst rows of dusty shelves or you don’t; it’s a passion, bordering on a spiritual illness, which cannot be explained to the unaffected.”
— Kathleen Tessaro (Elegance)
One of the things I love doing the most is going secondhand bookhunting. There’s a certain thrill to finding a bargain priced book that beats getting a brand new book any day.
Going bookhunting is always an adventure because you never know what gem you will find among the shelves of used bookstores. It’s not an easy task though, and requires some effort, patience and a little bit of luck.:)
Now, I’m no expert at finding great secondhand or bargain books, but here are some things I’ve learned:
- Have a system. Going through shelves of books that aren’t organized can be a daunting task, so try to come up with a system that works for you. When you have extra time on your hands, try going through the shelves more than once – chances are, you might spot a great book that you didn’t notice on your first scan.
- Know when to buy. Most Book Sale branches have a set schedule for their deliveries, so ask the salespeople for their schedule of new arrivals. Branches that are located at malls usually stock more books during mall sales, so if you’re willing to brave the crowds, watch out for those sale schedules too.
- Familiarize yourself with book prices. Book Sale prices usually start at P115 for Trade Paperbacks and P125 for Hardcovers (though prices go down after a few weeks). There are also some books that cost a little more – this includes the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, Dan Brown, Stephen King, and Chicken Soup for the Soul, to name a few. So try to do a little bit of price research for those books to get the best deal.
- Make a list. List down some titles or authors you are looking for. If you are a regular at a particular store, talk to the salespeople there and ask them if they would be willing to set aside books from your list if they ever get them in stock.
- Take advantage of discounts. At Book Sale, purchases of at least P1000 will give you a 5% discount, while buying at least P2000 worth of books will give you a 10% discount. If you are with a friend, you might want to consolidate your purchases to take advantage of those discounts.
- Know where to buy. Book Sale, Chapters and Pages, Pick-a-Book and Books for Less are probably the most popular secondhand bookstores, but you might also want to check out some indie bookstores such as Bookay-Ukay (Diliman), Libreria (Cubao X) and La Belle Aurore (Cebu). Watch out also for book fairs and the annual book sales of major bookstores for great deals on brand new books and library withdrawn books (from the US).
For those of you who don’t have the time to rummage through bookshelves or do not have access to used bookstores, online bookhunting can be just as enjoyable. Check out eBay, Multiply, Sulit and Facebook for some great finds. Prices may be slightly higher than local used bookstores, but it’s easier to search for particular books and there are more recent titles being offered.
If you have more tips or want to share your favorite bookhunting places and your best bargain finds, please feel free to share.:D