Book Sales. Yay or Nay? As Baini Mustafa who advocates #fiftybooksayear, I haven’t been to a massive book sales for years! Read on to find out what Baini Mustafa of #fiftybooksayear think of book sales and what you can do to make your book shopping more effective for your reading and money!
I remember the times when books were purchased one by one, after careful consideration. The book sales trend we see now is ‘box sales’ – where you pay an X amount for a box and you can fill it up with any books you want. Which should be good for #fiftybooksayear, right? NOT! We are sure seeing that book purchasing trend will soon be as dismissive as street fashion.
Ripped and dirty books might be filling up our landfills in the future at the rate we’re going. And we don’t want good book sales to wind there, do we?
I am bringing up this matter today although it contradicts in a way with #fiftybooksayear, because I remember there was a night, my kids and I just finished reading one book that was purchased from one of the book sales. The book was purchased by my husband at a book sale two years ago! TWO YEARS AGO! So can you imagine how many books are unread in this house from such book sales???
As a book lover, I am at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to book ownership. I really only buy books that I want to have and keep, because in my opinion books are precious. I remember and know each one that I own, because I’ve taken the time to be with them. To be honest, I have only gone to such sales once. Bought coffee table books. The novels and non-fictions are splattered with typos that begged to be corrected. And nobody seems to notice this. Which also makes me wonder if anybody actually read any of the book they’ve bought.
And this year as we loom nearer to 2020, many more book sales seem to be popping up and sadly a lot of clearance sales too. As a book purchaser, I am always left wondering if the clearance sale is due to shops closing down or simply to boost sales. Of course as book lover, I pray it is simply a way to boost sales.
That said, I am also a shopper who enjoy great deals and savings but my heart tugs at the sight of books being sold at bare minimum prices, as if the books don’t matter, as if all they wanted was the books to be gone, as if the book was a mistake, as if people had been waiting for the price of books to be reduced to finally be a book owner.
That’s the sad side of book sales that nobody speaks of.
Such box sales would otherwise be very useful to stock up personal libraries or as a form of house decoration. Maybe I am just a late adapter to this trend that had been around for a decade. Deep inside I do hope I see a reason to buy books in this fashion because I would save lots! Check out my post here on the benefits of reading extensively.
This year I used a personal shopper’s service to get the books that I need at a book sale and could still save a lot of money. I am very happy with the purchases, happy with being able to dodge the crowd and definitely not the least to be mentioned is the payment queue. Because I am sure, for the love of all things holy, if I had visited a book sale I would have wiped a lot of books off into my cart! And that would certainly defeat any purpose of trying to save any money.
More importantly, would I still save money if I didn’t read all of those books in the end?
The first and the last I had gone to a book sale as such was in 2009 and I must say I had some pretty good deals. But as the years go by, seeing the trends of book hauls, ‘shelf’ie, pictures of purchases, going broke buying books (really defeating the purpose of reading, really) and just seeing books in masses – got me nauseous, really.
And it takes a lot of strength and courage for a person like me who advocates #fiftybooksayear to pull myself away from this madness. Books are meant to be read and studied, not to be taken on a ride home for selfies, to quote as content on social media and then left, without the entire context of the book being weighted cognitively.
It is a sad epidemic of buy-titis that had an outbreak in our culture since the past few years – which is good for sellers but I’m not too sure if the buyers had benefited with anything pass some saving on the buck.
If any of such sale were to be of a huge benefit, it should be for donations or reduced priced especially for the underprivileged or simply by buying the books that we will read. Not books we thought someone would
eventually read. This is the first time I ever spoke against buying books as I believe book hoarding will soon become a problem AND books sold at heavily slashed prices de-values its content, even worse when the content is de-valued as it’s not even read.
The adverse effects may not be apparent now, but it will be in due time. As more people start comparing the act of book shopping is holier than shoe shopping, holier than tudung buying etc. Let’s not reduce to pulling out our wallets to buy respect.
So what would the Baini Mustafa of #fiftybooksayear recommend to tackle massive book sales as sane reader, not a mad shopper?
I will show how to have a reading plan – which consists of how to create your book shopping list, a reading schedule and what to do if you can’t finish a book. Interested? Sign up as a subscriber of The Baini Mustafa Weekly Email here to enjoy stuff I really don’t share anywhere else!