This is the bookshelf with most of what I want to read in the coming months:

When we moved to New Zealand I was unpleasantly reminded how much books cost here. I know that part of the problem is the ease with which I grew accustomed to £5.99 paperbacks, ‘three for the price of two’ sales in every bookshop, and fabulous secondhand book bargains in every charity shop. Here, a paperback costs at least $29.99 – too much to make buying them anything other than an occasional treat (in the UK, I’d buy a paperback at the station, so I didn’t have to read a crappy free newspaper). And non-fiction is ludicrously expensive here. Even secondhand books are costly: say, $8 for a paperback. Anything over a fiver seems too much for a dog-eared novel – I’d pay no more than £1 or £2 in the UK.

A lot of Kiwis take advantage of the advantageous exchange rate and free shipping by shopping online at The Book Depository. I’m not overly blessed with disposable income at present and haven’t been doing this, but I have made good use of my fabulous local library (which enables me to reserve books online and just wait for an email to tell me when my request has arrived). Even easier, though, is actually reading the huge number of books that I’ve bought in the past and never actually read – many of which are shown on my shelves here. I’ve also got a lot of Tristan’s worthy literary novels there, in the hopes that I might actually improve my knowledge of the classics.

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2 thoughts on “10/02/2012

  1. Book Depository is like my crack. I spend a lot of money and a lot more time just browsing on that site. Last week I spent just over $30 and got 3 books – less than the price of just one of them that I’d seen in the book store and wanted which is just ridiculous. I do feel a bit bad buying on the internet but when the price difference is so substantial I really can’t justify buying from the likes of Dymocks. I try make the effort to buy from the small locally owned stores like Poppy’s but there really aren’t many around here. It does make a work day a little bit brighter when a package of books arrives too!

    1. I totally agree, Jacque – getting a parcel of books (at work, usually) is just splendid! Our Goods In guys at the firm were used to lugging my Amazon.co.uk parcels to my desk…!

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