Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Book Shopping Book Tag

If there's one thing I know how to do it's buying books. When I came across the Book Shopping Book Tag on YouTube I just knew I had to do it too (albeit in text form). Who doesn't love book shopping or talking about book shopping?

1) How do you buy books? Physically because you believe in the power of touch or online because interactions are overrated?

Since the closest book store to me is a roughly 400 km trip I buy most of my books online. Getting to go into an actual physical store is a very rare treat, but that hardly ever happens.

2) Do you prefer bigger bookshops or smaller ones?

Since I'm particularly focused on speculative fiction I prefer bigger bookshops with larger selections. Even the big bookshops normally have very small speculative fiction sections, which tend to be a big disappointment on the very rare occasion that I actually get to go into a shop.

3) Do you prefer to buy books when they are brand new (being the first to touch them, it being in great condition), or do you prefer used ones (the book having character, history, and personality)?

I prefer to have books in very good condition so most of my purchases are new, but I've also bought loads of used books which are in great condition. In an ideal world I'd buy everything new.

4) Are you a coupon TLC level crazy person or a full price sweet sixteen MTV?

I'm an old, so I'm not sure I get this particular reference. If it means that I look for bargains then it's definitely the former. Books are expensive over here, so I'm constantly on the lookout for sales and discount codes. When a sale hits I basically go on a buying spree.

5) Read, research, analysed Sherlock Holmes-style or impulse buyer like a shopaholic?

Both? I generally stay up to date on new releases so I'm aware of what's coming out so a bit of research goes into it. If the price is right I've been known to pick up books I've never heard of.

6) A book or two at a time or full cart pandemic style and till the mailman dies?

Three words - free shipping threshold. I normally order enough books to reach the threshold for free shipping. Normally this means around a minimum of 3 to 5 books at a time.

7) New and recent releases or older and classics?

I prefer more recent releases, but I also pick up older books.

8) Are you a Pre-order total fan freak or wait until it arrives at the bookshop because it can wait?

Due to price I very rarely pre-order. There are a few authors I might do pre-orders for, but it's very rare. I mostly wait till the book is available in paperback before picking it up.

9) Do you prefer special expensive, beautiful covers, colour edges and unique editions or is the inside of the book that counts?

I covet special editions, but I just can't justify the price. There are quite a few limited editions I'd love to own, but only if I got them as gifts. Then again I'd be too afraid to actually read them...

10) Picture your favourite book. Do you show your love by buying multiple copies or do you believe in single true love?

Just a single edition is fine. However by some quirk of bookish magic I somehow tend to accumulate multiple copies of certain books. It's weird how that happens.

11) Name your favourite places to bookshop!

Since I mostly buy online I have to recommend my two favourite South African book shopping sites. The first is Reader's Warehouse -  they have the best prices in the country making my book habit much more affordable. Great service, fast shipping and good packaging. I think I might already own the entirety of the science fiction and fantasy section they have available.

The second is Loot. They are a great option if you want to order something recent and want to ensure that your books are packaged properly when they are shipped. (Unlike another big online retailer, which shall not be named, who thinks just chucking books into a box is sufficient packaging).


What are your book buying habits?

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