Warning: 1: This is a long article, and not for those with apparently short attention spans.
2: This article showcases hardcore book-lust, and describes deeds that may not be suitable for those of with milder hearts. Parental, matrimonial, and companion discretion preferred.
|Image Courtesy: Google|
With the arrival of online-stores, books have been available in amazingly cheap prices. In the past, I was a frequent visitor to bookstores in Kannur area, to the point that the owners of those posh bookstores started nodding at me when they see me, with a smile. Those smiles were precious for me. I will get into the reason in a short while. Before that let me recount the ways I pursued in order to satiate my addiction to books.
The desire to buy and own a book kept growing in me. By the time I was in the middle of the year in the twelfth class, I took it up as a mission. When I was in twelfth standard, I studied in a school situated on the shore of NH17 connecting Kannur and Kasargodu. During those days, lunch cost me Rs: 10. I was reluctant to take lunch packed from home. Mostly girls brought lunch and that was a reason why I did not. All the cool dudes in the class either ate from the nearby restaurant or went their homes, because most of their homes were close by, except about ten students’.
Asking money for books was a taboo topic at home, although my parents preferred reading as a better form of growing up than just playing in the ground with some nasty kids, from the neighborhood. Money, my parents thought, is precious and should not be wasted on books, especially stories or novels. Contradictions surpass reality, here. My parents bought me comic books in ample numbers even though the above-mentioned prohibition was still in full imposition.
I decided not to bring such a topic to the attention of my parents. The book I desperately wanted to buy was a novel by one of the most elegant of Malayalam writers, Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer. My Granddad had an Elephant (the Malayalam version, of course) lured me from the pale and grey pages of a regular bulletin published by one of the prominent publishing companies in Kerala. I succumbed to the call from my inner being. There should be a way to meet the financial need, on this issue. I finally settled in compromising my lunch.
Five days of no-lunch provided me Rs: 50, enough to take a bus to Kannur and buy the book. Then one day, after classes, it happened. There was a small bookstore near the old bus stand in Kannur, those days. There the bookseller was an old man. I asked for the book and he went behind some shelves. When he emerged, he had a copy of the book I wanted.
When I got a job, after post-graduation, I resumed this practice of buying books. E-stores were catching up slowly. They had astonishing discounts that made me regret buying some of the books from bookstores. In those bookstores, where I was a regular, the smile of the owner meant I could ask for a discount. A regular customer should get some consideration after all, shouldn’t he?
Those arrogant owners, however, considered five to ten percent discounts as the best shot they could give. If a book coasts Rs. 499, I would have to pay Rs. 450. In an online store, however, in 2010, you could have earned a pretty 50 percent discount on some books. Gradually, this shift to online shopping caused my regular visit to the two prominent bookshops in Kannur to slow down. Still, I did not abandon the used-books’ markets. There is a gentle person named Habib, who sells used-books near the old bus stand area, in Kannur. I am a regular customer with him, whenever he opens his shop. His is not exactly a shop in the strict sense. He spreads a tarpaulin sheet under a tree near the over bridge and sells books there. He does not open on every day, though.
|Damn! Don't you still know? It is my book|
Online bookstores, however, were more reliable and cheap. The situation has started changing gradually, now. The same online shop I used to be a devoted customer of, when the boom began, now, sells books with no discount at all. This website has become unattractive, for those who are interested in books, especially. At the same time, as a light of promise, a number of other online stores opened in India. Most of them are better than the one I just alluded to.
As a herd of online stored has arrived on the scene, often, one better than the other, comparing prices is a very impressive option through which one can pitch impressive deals. MySmartprice.Com, the people who have been sponsoring my book reviews, is a wonderful place where you can find better deals by comparing prices. Out of the many price comparing websites, I like MySmartprice.Com because of their efficient guidelines and effective service.
Well, I actually missed something. Out of all other shopping experiences, I did not try discount coupons. My ignorance of how they function was the main cause behind this lag. Recently, a friend of mine informed me how to use them. You just need to go to a coupon store online and click on the coupon. The next step is the coupon code. Once you click on the coupon, a window will pop up and will give you a code, which you need to write down or copy with your mouse. Then go to the website and do the purchase. Once the payment section comes, there will be a small box somewhere down the page, which asks for discount codes. Type the coupon code, you grabbed inside that box.
When online shopping sites, shorten their discount bars, coupons are a relief in satiating your hunger for books. Recently, Amazon.com launched their shop in India, named amazon.in. The good news is that you can shop Wall of Colours and Other Stories anywhere from India, through amazon’s kindle store in amazon.in.