Several local bookstores are currently having their annual sales – National Bookstore, Powerbooks and A Different Bookstore – and I’ve checked out a couple of branches but I haven’t bought anything. I even dropped by Fully Booked, even though they’re not on sale because they have better selections than the three bookstores previously mentioned. But still, nothing. And then I remembered that I still had a 10% discount coupon from the Book Depository and that I could pre-order my anticipated titles – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – for 35% off (25% pre-order discount + 10%) so yay, discounted books! Aside from those pre-orders, both of which won’t be shipped until their release date in September, I also ended up buying two other paperbacks because I wanted to get books that can be shipped right away. I had to stop myself with just four books because I wanted to order more. Because of this experience, I’ve realized that as much as I enjoy browsing through the shelves of bookstores, I don’t buy as many books as I used to from brick and mortar stores.
Ever since the Book Depository and Better World Books started delivering to the Philippines for free, I’ve been getting more and more of my books from them. Local bookstores have special order services but it’s more convenient to order from online directly rather than go through the tedious process of asking customer service to get a book for me. Also, I’ve had problems with the reservation process in local bookstores while I’ve always been happy with my online purchases (although I could be HAPPIER if they started delivering faster). I order books that aren’t locally available from the Book Depository and out of print or used copies from Better World Books. Or if the ebook is less expensive than an actual copy, I’ll read it on my Kindle instead. Fellow Filipino book blogger Honey of Coffeespoons recently talked about this in her recent post about print vs. ebooks and I can’t help but agree with some of the things that she said. I still go inside bookstores but I rarely buy books from them. I still read more physical books than ebooks but who knows, that may change in the near future.
I know that the giant TBR pile also contributes to how my book buying habits have changed. Whenever I’m about to purchase a book lately, I always ask myself if I’ll be able to read it soon or if it will just end up languishing in the TBR pile. Also, I went crazy with the book purchases when I started the blog because I was getting so many new recommendations from fellow book bloggers. It felt like I opened a door to a bookish world that I wasn’t even aware of before and I needed to catch up. We don’t have good public libraries here in the Philippines so if I want to read a book, I need to buy a copy. At that time, whenever I saw a copy of a book that I was interested in, I felt compelled to grab it because I was always worried that I’d have a hard time looking for it later on. I hoarded books whenever bookstores went on sale, I grabbed bargain finds even though they were only vaguely familiar just because they’re cheap, I think I even tried setting a monthly budget for books but I always went over the set amount. I’m not like that anymore because I have the security of knowing that I could buy the books that I want from online bookstores. Also, can I just say that I’m delighted that I can now borrow books from fellow Filipino book bloggers? I don’t have to buy every single book that I’m interested in. *claps hands for bookish friends*
Sometimes, I feel bad when I spend hours browsing in a bookstore and I don’t end up buying anything. And then I remember that I still have so many books waiting to be read. Maybe this is just a phase and my book buying habits will change again in a few months or so. I guess it’s just good to know that even though I get a ton of recommendations, I still have a measure of control over the number of books that I get. What about the rest of you, do you feel like your book buying habits changed in the past few months? I’m curious especially now that Borders is closing, where do most of you get your books?